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COVID-19 response and recovery

Hero Banner Covid-19
"As the world recovers from and adjusts to the new normal created by the COVID-19 pandemic, ITU is mobilizing around the United Nations' call to build back better. As the UN specialized agency for information and communication technologies, we are now more than ever committed to bringing the benefits of these technologies to people everywhere.​​"
ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao

The COVID-19 crisis has not only highlighted the critical role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for continued functioning of societies but has also brought to the fore the startling digital inequalities between and within countries.

Bound by the powerful belief that technology can be a source of good for everyone, ITU Members have stepped up and engaged in activities that have proven essential in saving lives and keeping economies going. 

​ITU is helping countries to fully utilize digital technologies to respond to and recover from COVID-19, and to build preparedness for similar future global emergencies. Now more than ever, the world needs to be able to rely on ICTs and ITU's leadership in promoting universal, secure, reliable and affordable connectivity. 

Consult the list of its COVID-19 initiatives, activities and partnerships he​re​​, and read core COVID-19 messages he​re​.​

​​​ITU News
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ITU Podcasts
LISTEN to ITU podcasts on how COVID-19 has ​affected the telecom sector, and the economy and society at large.  
ITU Videos
WATCH the latest ITU videos on the ​ socio-economic effects of COVID-19. ​


05 January 2021​​ - The COVID-19 global health emergency has dramatically underlined the importance of harnessing the full power of digital technologies to strengthen health systems and programmes. The Digital Health Platform Handbook aims to assist countries to advance their national digital health system through the use of a digital health platform, which provides the underlying foundation for various digital health applications and systems used to support health and care services.

05 January 2021​​ - How can technological innovation help us to stay healthy in times of a pandemic? Can we ensure that technology designed to keep us safe doesn't put human rights at risk? If older people are not connected, what implications does that really have? Listen to expert interviewees share their views in the latest episode of ITU’s Technology for Good podcast series.

05 January 2021​​ - What does the future look like? ITU invites ICT National Regulatory Authorities (NRA), Regulatory Associations, and other ICT stakeholders around the world to fill in a survey about the measures they took to keep communities connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of the survey is to collect experiences and assess preparedness for COVID-19 recovery.


Main COVID-19 response & recovery initiatives​​

Connect to recover Connect2Recover aims at reinforcing the digital infrastructure of beneficiary countries and better means of utilizing digital technologies (e.g. teleworking, e-commerce, remote learning and telemedicine) to support COVID-19 recovery efforts and preparedness for the “new normal”, as well as potential future pandemics.​

REG Covid Platform Global Network Resiliency Platform (REG4COVID)
To address the strain experienced by telecommunication networks, vital to the health and safety of people, ITU has launched a new platform​ to ​pool experiences and innovative policy and regulatory measures.​

WSIS ICT Repository ICT Case Repository​
The ICT Case Repository​ collects innovative ​projects and activities on how ICTs are assisting stakeholders in their everyday life, work, and in ​combating challenges caused by this extraordinary situation.

Digital transformation CISCO CYB4COVID​
While always crucial, it is particularly at times like this that we need to ensure that our systems and networks ​are secure. On CYB4COVID​, ITU shares information about initiatives, actions, resources and projects on cybersecurity that are designed to help ensure communities remain connected safely and securely​ ​here. ​​​


Digital Health Ad-hoc group on digital technologies for COVID health emergency
Part of the ITU-WHO Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health, the new group aims to establish best practices in the use of AI at each lifecycle of a public health emergency. It will review AI and other digital health technologies’ performance in combatting COVID-19 and future health emergencies. ​
G20 SG meetingExtraordinary G20 ​Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting
ITU supports the G20 Digital Economy Ministers in their commitment to sharing information in a secure manner and encouraging the research and development of digital technologies for health. G20 statementITU Secretary-General blog​

ITU WHO statementReaching all, including those not connected to the Internet, with vital information
ITU and WHO, with support from UNICEF, will work with telecommunication companies to text people directly on their mobile phones with vital health messages​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

COVID-19 resources & latest trend analyses​

Economic experts rountableOutcome report of the ITU Economic Experts Roundtable argues that digital infrastructure is crucial for COVID-19 response and recovery. The pandemic has made it even more difficult to connect the unconnected, which is why it is more important than ever to deliver meaningful connectivity for all.
Pandemic during Internet ageITU’s first analysis ​of key initiatives in response to COVID-19 outlines key short-term regulatory and commercial initiatives by national regulatory bodies, operators, content and online providers, collected through ITU’s Global Network Resiliency Platform (#REG4COVID). The paper has formed the basis of further analysis and discussion papers to help countries in their response to the COVID crisis.
Regulatoru insightsThe COVID-19 virus has presented a stress test for governments worldwide, with the Internet playing a crucial role in keeping critical infrastructure and resources connected and available. Read a short overview of key initiatives in response to COVID-19 here​.​​​​​​​
REG4COVID discussion paper New ITU REG4COVID discussion paper analyses the measures taken in the COVID19 context to address Last Mile Connectivity (LMC) issues and identifies best practices. It examines the market aspects of last-mile connectivity, with a view towards promoting and setting up sustainable infrastructure solutions, and provides guidance for private sector and civil society stakeholders to act upon the LMC opportunities available today. ​ ​​​​​​​
Broadband​ITU’s latest report How broadband, digitization and ICT regulation impact the global economy offers important and practical guidance both for developing and developed countries on how to maximize the economic impact of strategic ICT investment decisions. As economies worldwide look at ways to reinvent and re-charge themselves in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this report is a must-read for governments, policy-makers, regulators, operators and influencers.​​​​​​​
ITU News Magazine
UN COVID ImageFind out how the whole of the UN system is
addr​essi​ng COVID-19
 in their spheres of expertise. ​​​​