How tech has supported developing countries during the coronavirus pandemic

Developing countries have faced enormous challenges in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, but technology has supported them in a variety of ways.

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The coronavirus pandemic is probably the biggest challenge we’ve faced in living memory, and it’s caused havoc all around the world. While the disease has spread globally, developing countries, in particular, have found it difficult to deal with the disastrous effects of this crisis. But with the aid of technological innovation, they’ve been able to face the pandemic head-on and ultimately save lives.

Accelerating humanitarian efforts with big data

When coronavirus spread throughout the world, developing countries were hit hard and many were ill-equipped to respond to the many challenges caused by the pandemic due to issues like underfunded healthcare systems.

Reine Hanna, information management project manager at Swiss humanitarian aid organisation Medair, says: “In the countries where we operate, Covid-19 is increasing pressure on already fragile healthcare systems that are not designed to deal with a pandemic of this magnitude. Refugee settlements are a particular area of concern, as the high-density conditions and limited medical provisions available mean the virus can spread rapidly.”

Because of this, many developing countries have depended on the support of non-governmental organisations like Medair throughout the pandemic. To accelerate its humanitarian efforts, Medair decided to leverage the targeted insights offered by big data. Hanna says: “Obtaining data to understand where our support is needed most has been crucial in the planning of aid distribution in response to successive crises in Lebanon.

“Dashboards we have created in partnership with Qlik not only integrate data from countries we support around the world, they also provide us with the visibility to recognise specific needs and address emerging problems in a clear, easy-to-consume display.”

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