The Covid-19 virus is wreaking havoc globally, threatening to bring the world to a standstill. Lockdowns have become the order of the day in cities and countries world wide. In the wake of this pandemic, Governments and humanitarian response organisations are putting in every effort to respond to this crisis. Local communities are also self organising to support groups that have been hardest hit and are most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus.

One such group is Anpas, the Italian Associations of Public Assistance. This non profit organisation that comprises several volunteering organisations in the Italian region, have deployed the Ushahidi platform to ensure a steady supply of food, medicine and other subsistence goods for citizens who are unable to provide for themselves in this period of isolation in Italy.

According to Melania Caccavo and Alessandro Benini from Anpas, they are using Ushahidi to disseminate information about services their associations and volunteer networks are providing to people stuck in their homes due to health problems/quarantine. Their goal is to contribute to flattening the curve and limit spread of the virus by helping people stay in their homes, avoiding hazardous actions and promoting recommended behavior. They are using Ushahidi to map out services such as home delivery of groceries (one of the most recurrent requests as per the latest update on the map), and subsequently sharing this information on additional channels e.g social media, whatsapp and their website.

“Using the Ushahidi tool has made it possible to alleviate the suffering of the population during this disaster; especially the more vulnerable groups such as elderly and people with disabilities. The tool at this moment represents one of the best ways to share information with the Italian people about services being offered by local volunteer organizations in their own municipalities.”- Melania Caccavo

How you can support Anpas

Anpas have recently launched a fundraising campaign, as they need resources to sustain their associations’ activities, and acquire personal protective equipment for the volunteers. For more information on how to support their work, please visit their website here.

We will continue to share updates on projects utilising Ushahidi to respond to this pandemic on a regular basis.