What Covid-19 means for NZ INGOs, Humanitarian impact of Covid-19, Latest from the Pacific, and more.

Posted on 24 March 2020

+ Looking after yourself

  • Government 'source of truth' on COVID-19 response.
  • Got symptoms? Call your GP before you visit. Or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

+ Message for NGOs from MSD on 'essential services'

MSD have clarified  - for now - what is defined as an 'essential service'. There are also useful contact details here to ask follow up questions.

CID is following up through MFAT to see if INGOs can be counted as 'essential services' to continue fundraising activities that could involve x1 person coming into the office for a mail out. We will let you know as soon as we hear.

The key message is that  'This is a preliminary list and will be subject to review'. For now though, most of our INGOs are probably not seen as 'essential'. 

We will keep making the case that aid agencies need to be ready and able to respond to a Pacific emergency if and when needed, so they need to be able to continue to raise funds and do their work now.

Essential social services at Alert Level 4 are those that meet one or more of the following four criteria. 

  1. Where the social service is the only way for people accessing food and other goods they need to survive (eg, money management (but not budget advice), food banks, and other delivery of essential goods).
  2. A social service that provides and supports a place for someone to live (eg, Supported Accommodation, Housing First, Residences, Bail Hostels, Night Shelters, Family Homes, remand homes, foster carers of children in state care, resettlement services for recent migrants and refugees).
  3. A social service that supports disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing (eg, disability services for those with high needs or very high needs, and excluding disability employment services).
  4. Crisis support for people who are unsafe (eg, Funded helplines, refuges and family violence services, foster care support services, sexual violence crisis services).

+ Latest COVID-19 info for INGO sector

CID is compiling a list of questions from members to follow up on with MFAT and other government organisations. We will try and update these as often as possible.

Here is another useful list so far, of what counts as 'essential'. 

Please go to the CID home page for some more updates, useful links, and for a summary of  CID member's responses to COVID-19.

Let us know any more information about your organisation so we can keep the updates fresh.

  • As we move into Level 4 in 48 hours, there has been an increased financial subsidy for all employers. If in any doubt, the minister of finance, Grant Roberson confirmed yesterday that the wage subsidy (and extended leave entitlements) DO apply to Not-For-Profit employers (who meet the eligibility criteria). Also, more information on COVID-19 for registered charities is available here
  • An explanation of what 'self-isolation' means.
  • Zoom guidelines on best practices on how to host a digital event
  • What Australian INGOs are doing - the latest from ACFID
  • A list of resources for INGOs from UK Bond 

+ Meeting to discuss Charity Sector Response to COVID-19

The government has confirmed that the COVID-19 response wage scheme and leave scheme does apply to registered charities, non-government organisations, and incorporated societies. 

There is a meeting by Zoom to discuss the 'NZ Charity Sector Response to COVID-19: Impacts, discussion and action plan' taking place on Friday, 27th March at 12:00pm - 2:00pm. Please follow the link to register for this meeting, where the issues being faced (financial, staff, support, mental, legal etc) will be discussed and as well as an action plan appealing to Government and raising profile of the impact on Charities in New Zealand.  

+ A message to donors - be flexible, provide certainty

Message from CIVICUS (international INGO umbrella group)

"We call on all donors and intermediaries to provide essential support for civil society by offering flexibility, certainty and stability towards grantees and partners. Here are five ways this can be done. Have more ideas to improve this list? Use this twitter post to let CIVICUS know.

  •   Listen to grantee partners and together explore how you can best help them face the crisis, trusting they know best what is needed in their own contexts.
  •   Encourage the re-design and re-scheduling of planned activities and deliverables and provide clear guidance on how to seek approval for these changes.
  •   Support new and creative ways of creating a culture of solidarity and interaction while adhering to the physical distancing and other precautionary measures. 
  •   Offer greater flexibility by reconsidering payment instalments based on actual needs, converting existing project grants into unrestricted funds, or adding extra funds to help build-up reserves or cover unexpected costs.
  •   Simplify reporting and application procedures and timeframes so that civil society groups can better focus their time, energy and resources in supporting the most vulnerable rather than on meeting heavy reporting and due diligence requirements.


+ Humanitarian Impact of COVID-19

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate ceasefire in conflicts around the world to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The UN chief said on Monday: "It is time to put armed conflict on lock down and focus together on the true fight of our lives."

The implications for humanitarian agencies, and the vulnerable communities that they serve, are profound. Aid agencies are scrambling to adapt as the COVID-19 pandemic is felt throughout the world. Senior Editor of The New Humanitarian Ben Parker spoke to leading emergency response experts and practitioners from across the humanitarian sector to discuss  the critical and most pressing issues.  COVID-19 is already disrupting aid efforts around the world:

  • Evacuation of non-essential NGO staff and restrictions on foreign aid workers
  • Stigmatisation - of foreign presence, and people with COVID-19
  • Border closures and impacts on supply lines
  • Cash 'constraints and roadblocks'
  • The impossibility of physical distancing in locations such as Rohingya refugee camps, and migrant camps in Greece

While the virus severely impacts rich countries the potential impact on the developing world, if the prevention and containment lessons learnt during the 2014 Ebola crisis are not applied, will be catastrophic. The continued importance of supporting developing countries through the global COVID-19 pandemic, to avoid the paralysation of already vulnerable healthcare systems, is critical.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for a radical revamp of the international aid architecture, so that massive amounts of money can be devoted to global public goods. Nonetheless, with the debate on locally led emergency response and development, the pandemic perhaps presents a critical junction for localisation.


+ Latest from the Pacific

We’re still waiting to see how the virus spreads in the Pacific and whether or not the small island states can keep the number of cases low. 

But we already know the economic cost will be devastating. The island states import nearly everything. Moreover, tourism is the main earner for many, writes the Economist. 

  • Cook Island - tourism is roughly 70% of GDP, and the sector employs about 35% of the population
  • Vanuatu  - 46.1% of GDP, employs 27%
  • Niue  - 41% of GDP, employs about 33%
  • Fiji   - 40% of GDP, employs about 14%
  • Samoa - 20.4% of GDP, employs 9%
  • Tonga - 18.2% of GDP, employs about 20%

CID will remain connected with Pacific partners so we can get the latest from on the ground.

Please update us with any information you have so we can share with the sector. 

+ What is Global Health? Free online course

Over the last century, great progress has been made in the field of global health. The world is, on balance, much healthier. Global life expectancy is rising and infectious disease rates are declining.

The gains made in global health are not evenly distributed around the world, and in many places, people are still dying of preventable illnesses. As the world becomes more interconnected, infectious diseases can spread faster from one country to another. And as life expectancy has increased, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—such as cancer, diabetes, and dementia—have become the leading cause of death and disability globally.

A pandemics such as ebola or Covid-19 showed the world how viruses don't know borders and make the dimension of health, global.

Check out this free online course on Global Health

+ We would like to thank Direct Impact Group for continuing to support CID's efforts to communicate with the sector at this time
Direct Impact Group supports organisations to maximise their social impact, because changing the world isn't easy, and in dynamic times this work is more important than ever.

+ From the doctor who helped defeat smallpox

We know how to do this! 

Epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who warned of the pandemic 2006, says we can beat the novel coronavirus—but first, we need lots more testing. 

"By slowing it down or flattening it, we're not going to decrease the total number of cases, we're going to postpone many cases until we get a vaccine—which we will because there's nothing in the virology that makes me frightened that we won’t get a vaccine in 12 to 18 months,” he says.


+ ILO tries to predict potential job losses

Mike Naylor, Director of UnionAid has shared some data from the ILO on likely job losses globally as a result of COVID-19. 

There are up to 25 million people expected to lose their jobs with an additional 35 million more people likely to be in working poverty due to underemployment.  That’s a global figure not just developing countries but we can assume that the poverty figures in the long term will hit developing countries hard. 

At the moment, the ILO analysis is showing the bulk of expected job losses as well as underemployment to be felt in high-income countries, not lower-income countries.  This seems to be predicated on the virus not really hitting lower-income countries as it currently hasn’t.  It assumes some flow-on effect of recessions in high-income countries reducing exports and jobs in lower-income countries but nothing like the direct impact it will have on high-income countries.    

Of course, this could all change if we get information that the virus is spreading rapidly in low-income countries. At the moment, job losses and poverty impacts in developing countries are estimated to be relatively small. 3 million jobs lost and an extra 5 million in working poverty.    



+ Lessons from corona for the future of Aid

If ever proof were needed that health concerns in one country require a coordinated and well-funded global response, this is it, says Jonathan Glennie on OECD Development Matters.

What does this tell us about the future of global cooperation?

On 13 March China sent a planeload of experts and medical supplies to Italy, including masks and respirators. Italy is one of the world’s richest countries (average income, US$34,480); despite rapid advance over the past decades, China is still much poorer (average income, US$9,770). Same story for the 52 doctors sent by Cuba to help in the worst-affected region, Lombardy. These Cuban doctors were in the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s.

The old world of 'rich donor countries' VS 'poor recipient countries' in reality, is over: in the 21st century, the global health challenges we face need a much broader perspective. 

'The ‘aid’ mentality is holding us back. We need a bigger picture understanding of concessional international public finance fit for the 21st century. It’s time for a new approach − Global Public Investment. No more OECD dominance. An end to unfair shareholdings at the World Bank. More multilateral funds, with the full range of governments and stakeholders responding to the problems our world faces', says Glennie.

'Global public goods need global public responses, financed by global public money, bringing all countries together to work on common endeavours.'

+ Free webinar for CID members - tomorrow 11.00am

A free 45-minute webinar on using online tools to present material, hold meetings or communicate well, is available to CID members  - and its free "Virtual Presenting: Communicating remotely with clarity, confidence and kindness" on Wednesday 25th March11 am NZT (9 am AEDT)

Join The Pickering Group CEO Russell Pickering to get some good advice. 

"Remote presenting: the technological revolution none of us wanted. The lighting is weird, the camera adds ten kilos to your nose alone, and no one ever brings muffins. 

"With workplaces all over the world turning fast to virtual communication, we know many of you will find yourselves in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar position of not being able to communicate in person,” says Russell. 

The webinar will cover:

  • How to best use your technology when communicating virtually
  • Techniques and tools to keep your audience engaged and participating
  • How to maximise your vocal variety and body language to convey warmth and confidence
  • How to best structure your content for a virtual audience
  • The dos and don'ts of virtual presenting 

"There will be extra time at the end to answer any further questions you may have. All questions welcome: Do pyjamas count as home-office-casual?  Can my kids use half the screen to play Minecraft during the meeting? Must I wear pants? Feel free to send in your questions beforehand to  

Register here. 

Can't make it? Register anyway and they’ll send you a recording.

+ DevNet 2020: Call for Session Proposals

The DevNet team are delighted to invite you to propose sessions for the 2020 DevNet conference, to be hosted at Massey University from 2nd - 4th December in Palmerston North.

A session is a 75-90 minute segment of the conference that has a unified theme of 'Development Matters'. We are seeking creative, inspirational formats in addition to conventional paper presentation sessions. Session proposals could include debates, workshops, reflections on policy, round tables, talanoa/kōrero outside on mats, slam poetry and so forth. 

Please make note of the following dates:

  • 24th April - to submit your session proposal. Please download and complete the template and email it to
  • 15th May - following a review of the session proposals, a Call for Papers will be open on 15th May. This is this time when individuals can submit abstracts which either relate to a specific named session, or which align more broadly with the conference themes.

+ Manaaki applications closing soon

As the end of March draws nearer, MFAT wanted to remind you that applications for Manaaki round two, their streamlined contestable fund for New Zealand NGOs, are due 5pm Monday 30 March 2020.

If you are keen to apply, but issues relating to COVID-19 are delaying your progress, please do let them know. 

Below is a list of documents, for your reference:

If you’ve any questions, please reach out to MFAT at or see their website.

+ CID's training and events - moving on line

We will in be in touch shortly with our plan to keep up your training and workshop needs during this unsettled time, and even host CID talks - all online.

We want to make sure that if you're working from home and looking for ways to stay connected as a sector, options are available.

If you have any thoughts, let us know. 

+ CID Events

Updates to follow, however we are looking to make events available online.

+ Other Events Coming Up
+ CID Activities
  • Mobilisation and preparation of CID office to work by remote
  • COVID-19 information coordination with Humanitarian Network
  • COVID-19 daily updates
  • Scoping CID Talks events
  • Business contingency plan & briefing in response to Covid-19 created
  • Scoping of online tools


Health Humanitarian Pacific Islands