SNV's work continues in the face of COVID-19

March 2020


As an organisation dedicated to the freedom of people to pursue their own sustainable development, we join the world community in fighting the devastating social and economic impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as it ravages our world.

The poorest countries and the millions of people who are living in extreme poverty face the greatest risk. In this global pandemic, SNV projects that lift incomes and access basic services become even more important. Now more than ever, we should leave no one behind.


SNV remains fully operational in our 25+ countries across Asia, Africa and Central America. We have taken measures in order to protect the health of our staff and the communities we serve. Our teams in many countries have shifted to business continuity modus in which most of our staff work remotely.


Fortunately, our country teams have good visibility on how the crisis is developing so we can customise our responses. We are currently reviewing and reprioritising our planned activities so we can operate within the limits of our own working protocols and government directives in various countries. Our project managers are in contact with donors and partners to discuss these revised plans. 


SNV's latest resources on COVID-19

Periods don’t stop for pandemics: Bhutan realises menstrual health and hygiene breakthroughs in 2020

[Blog] Empowerment… dignity… solidarity… hope… love and care – five qualities that, similar to periods, are here to stay. Pandemic or no pandemic, the SNV team in Bhutan is continuing its annual partnership with government and non-government partners to reinforce calls for inclusive development this Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD 2020). And, with partners, celebrate huge menstrual health and hygiene breakthroughs in Bhutan.

Supporting the resilience and transformation of food systems at scale: more critical than ever in the face of COVID-19

[News] As the pandemic evolves differently in each continent and country, the potential impacts on food and nutrition security, particularly in highly vulnerable areas and where populations are already experiencing food crises, is extremely worrying. Interventions to minimise the potential impact of the pandemic on all elements of the food system, from primary supply/ production, to processing, to trade as well as national and international logistics systems, to intermediate and final demand are critically important at this time.

SNV helps communities respond to the crisis and build resilience

[Blog] 2020 will be the first year since 1998 that the global rate of poverty increases. After 22 years, millions of people living in poverty face the greatest risk of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it triggers. This makes SNV’s mission to help people living in poverty to lift their incomes and access basic services even more important.

District-wide O&M system sustains community access to water sources amid global COVID-19 pandemic

[Blog] As countries reel from the coronavirus pandemic, district governments of Lira, Kole, Alebtong and Dokolo in Uganda gain greater appreciation for an Operations & Maintenance (O&M) system with improved fund management that is sustaining access to water sources.

22 May webinar: Addressing stakeholder concerns around testing sewage for COVID-19

[Event] Research from past SARS epidemics has proven that fragments of viruses from infected people are found in wastewater and sewage. In the case of COVID-19, these can be isolated and analysed to determine infections in an area.

Supporting sustainable energy markets: More critical than ever in the face of COVID-19

[News] Millions of people who are living in extreme poverty without energy access face even great risks in the face of COVID-19. Now more than ever we need to support the development of sustainable energy markets. Read our approach here.

Adapting advocacy in the face of COVID-19

[Blog] Civil society partners of the Voice for Change Partnership are adapting to the new normal, finding innovative solutions to continue engaging with policymakers on the issues they advocate for.

What GrEEn is doing in response to COVID-19

[Blog] Support for entrepreneurs and innovators is crucial to helping Ghana overcome the pandemic. SNV’s Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project is supporting youth (self-)employment and the growth of MSMEs.

Protecting essential workers and raising COVID-19 relevant hygiene awareness in Bangladesh

[Blog] For SNV in Bangladesh, reducing the spread of the virus and ‘flattening the curve’ means reinforcing hygiene measures/messages for workers and the general population together with the local government.

Behavioural change (hygiene) communications in a COVID-19 era: the case of Lao PDR

[News] From three districts to provincial and national levels in Lao PDR, read how SNV's COVID-19 behavioural change communication campaign for handwashing scaled up within one month.

COVID-19 and food systems: SNV, IFPRI, Government of Netherlands discuss the impacts

[News] In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to adjust to a new normal. We shine the spotlight on one of the CRAFT project partners’ work.

Closing the electricity access gap in times of COVID-19

[Blog] As we face the global impact of the COVID-19 virus, ensuring sustainable development of the off-grid energy sector is of vital importance.

Adapting to the ‘new normal’ to keep agribusinesses operational during COVID-19

[Blog] In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to adjust to a new normal. In this blog, we throw a spotlight on one of the Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) project partners and their efforts to stay afloat.

A toilet manual emptier's life in this day and age

[Blog] COVID-19 is exposing vulnerabilities in many professions. Sanitation workers with no access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and whose jobs do not benefit from Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) measures are among these. As emptiers deliver a service to keep us safe and healthy, so should we guarantee their health and safety.

Earth Day 2020: Scaling up innovations to tackle climate change

[Blog] On the 50th anniversary of World Earth Day Albert Bokkestijn, SNV Project Manager for the Dutch Fund for Climate Development (DFCD), speaks about the current climate crisis, the aims of the project and the comparisons between the climate change crisis and the current COVID-19 crisis.

Earth Day 2020: the challenges and opportunities of climate action

[Blog] On Earth Day, the need for transformational change has never been so apparent, as the world contends with the impact of COVID-19. We urgently need to raise awareness on the links between human well-being and the protection of nature. Richard McNally, SNV's Global Product Coordinator on Climate and Business, shares our vision for climate action and concrete examples of positive change.

SNV’s school children handwashing song campaign (in Bangla)

[Video] Everyday adoption of proper handwashing techniques can only be achieved through repeated practice. To help embed practice amongst children (and adults), SNV in Bangladesh produced an upbeat song on proper handwashing hygiene to facilitate message recall.

SNV and partners fighting COVID-19 in Bangladesh

[News] Challenging times require concerted measures and quick action. SNV partners and stakeholders in Bangladesh are building WASH facilities and distributing PPEs to protect workers in health care facilities and the garments industry from contracting/spreading the corona virus.

Marking World Health Day: Powering healthcare sustainably

[Blog] At the start of April we marked World Health Day, an opportunity to recognise the important work of nurses and midwives. The timing was especially poignant as nurses and healthcare workers are at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic response worldwide. The situation is even more challenging in the developing world where many healthcare centres are off the grid or have no reliable access to energy.

Supporting (and celebrating) our frontline health workers

[Blog] A WASH response enables health care workers to practise safe hygiene behaviours and infection prevention and control. Longer-term, multi-sectoral and comprehensive efforts that strengthen health systems are needed, including reinforcing the message for local governments to prioritise WASH in health care facilities.

Lack of clean cooking energy exposes women and children to increased risks in the midst of COVID-19

[Blog] In Kenya, civil society organisation GROOTS, through the Voice for Change Partnership, exposed gendered impacts of unclean cooking and works with government and local champions to provide solutions.

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