Pact is committed to delivering on our promises to those we serve around the world and to ensuring that our global staff are protected and healthy. With the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), Pact has implemented a number of changes to ensure both staff safety and our ability to continue to deliver programs for people challenged by poverty and marginalization in nearly 40 countries across the world.
The safety of our staff and the communities we serve is our top priority, and we are closely following recommendations from the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the progression of Covid-19 and mitigate its impact. To that end, we have implemented an essential-only travel policy that restricts global and regional travel. Domestic travel that is strictly necessary for program or project delivery is still taking place as needed. We have halted all Pact-supported global workshops, conferences and meetings, and are encouraging staff and partners to convene virtually when possible.
Our Global Covid-19 Task Force, which includes public health, safety and security, human resources and program management experts, among others, is leading our global response to the pandemic. The Task Force is supported by other experts across the organization, including an in-house clinician, and is part of a broader network of Country Office Response Teams, which are continuously tracking and managing risks, developing preparedness plans, sharing experiences and continuing operations to the best of our ability.
Following the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s operating guidance as of March 16, 2020, we have recommended all Washington, D.C. staff work from home until further notice. Our Country Office Response Teams, in consultation with our Global Safety and Security Officer, are constantly reviewing risk levels, and moving to telework based on local conditions and national government recommendations. Response Teams are also working to ensure prevention and response plans and business continuity plans are in place, in consultation with national health agencies, donors and international and local partners.
Additionally, Pact is liaising closely with our INGO peers and the broader global development community to share knowledge, tools, questions and more to help one another as we seek to best serve local communities and confront this new global challenge together.
We are continuously evaluating our policies and assessing our approach as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds. We encourage everyone to follow WHO’s personal protective measures and take care of themselves during this time.