#UnitingBusiness to respond to COVID-19

Regular updates

For situation updates from the WHO, please see here.

COVID-19 Myth Busters, please see here 

The WHO Whatsapp COVID-19 service is available in English, Arabic, and French, please click here 

Q&A on coronaviruses from the WHO, please see here

What your organization can do: suggestions for reaction to the crisis

Raise Awareness: Share information from the World Health Organization on precautions and other preventive measures.

Be Flexible: Exercise flexibility in terms of remote work arrangements for employees who want to limit their contact with others and work from home. Support companies and suppliers affected by the outbreak by taking a flexible and comprehensive approach to their business negotiations. Be flexible on delivery times and pay invoices immediately.

Be Compassionate: get in touch with friends and colleagues to ask what they need and offer support.

Provide Help and Support: Explore how your organization can support, including leveraging your global supply chain, to increase the supply of essentials in affected areas and countries. Organizations can also offer assets, resources and financial support to provide medical supplies and increase support for relief efforts.

Other actions your organization can take through the 10 UN Principles: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/news/4531-03-16-2020 

Good practices from GCNL Members

Showcase examples of corporate actions from across industries and regions, and promote learning and sharing on the challenges and solutions being deployed to deal with the pandemic, including its impact on companies internally and in the communities and societies in which they operate.

Digitisation of all educational / training initiatives of our social enterprises; Door-to-door awareness campaigns in the camps by one of our refugee social enterprise after being trained by Medecin Sans Frontieres; Emails with advice to our social enterprises

Contamination support is mainly at the healthcare level, corona consequences support is mainly at the level of food support for vulnerable families.

In our family business over the past six months, we have been working on the crisis management plan to respond to the economic situation in Lebanon. We established five task forces with different focus areas to ensure that we properly manage our business priorities, our people, our organisational resilience and our engagement with all stakeholders.  So, to respond to the Corona situation, we were able to form a committee within a few days to build the business continuity plan and spread it throughout the entire organization within the week. I truly believe that as a family business, we are actually uniquely placed and can draw upon our past to take the right actions now. This BCP is lead by a committee of 3 senior managers supported by our CEO and COMEX and they continuously re-calibrate the plan and communication on a daily basis to protect our business and colleagues across our business activities.  

In accordance with our specific role, we are focusing on combining raising awareness about social distancing with stimulating solidarity especially with the most vulnerable people. 

We are broadcasting messages and videos on our community’s WhatsApp group and on social media

HdF et Laboratoire Merieux-FP prise en charge des tests et des soins
Projets O7. Cellule d’écoute et de conseil du Département de psychologie. communication offres d’emploi et de stage par WhatsApp par le SIP. E-learning, et e-meeting et la communication auprès de la communauté universitaire.

Nokia is helping contain the pandemic by raising awareness among the employees and their direct community, relying on Nokia global guidance and WHO recommendations.  In addition, the company is providing remarkable support for its employees’ families to maintain the home lockdown and social distancing.  

Weekly management team meetings and bi-weekly remote all hands call are taking place to ensure minimum impact of the crisis through both ways of communication.  Our health and safety colleagues are on almost daily contact to ensure relevant data are well communicated.  

Toward our customers and partners, we follow the Nokia global recommendations that ensure the collective collaboration of the ecosystem to ensure safety and promote global measures to overcome the COVID19 impact and contribute to its containment. We have developed a solution to our customers to help contain the spread and that has already been deployed effectively in highly affected countries.

On a parallel note, Nokia local branch has contributed with one time monetary donation to Lebanese RED CROSS as an exercise of solidarity and support.

We create a unique application HAYATI for mass screening using a unique medical calculator and tracking and tracing using GIS

Ajialouna is an NGO that cannot close its doors on the underprivileged, especially in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the staff is still going to work while ensuring the following safety measures:

1) Workplaces are always cleaned to meet optimal hygiene standards.

2) Surfaces and objects are being wiped with disinfectants regularly.

3) Hand washing, taking body temperatures, and wearing gloves and face masks are a must for all employees and anyone entering the building. 4) Always keeping the required distance between all people.

5) We are distributing to several hospitals and orphanages face masks, gloves, goggles, overalls, foot gloves, and sanitizers.

Malia Group has been taking the below measures since the onset of the coronavirus in Lebanon:

– Integrating work from home to minimize crowdedness in the workplace

-Increasing the staff’s awareness of any signs and symptoms of acute respiratory illness.

-Encourage the following:

1) Wash of hands often with soap and water, or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer;

2) Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth unless hands were washed

3) Covering a cough and sneeze with a tissue or into their arm, not their hands

4) Stay home if feeling sick

5) Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centers if they are sick 

– Display posters promoting hand-washing and respiratory hygiene,

-Ensure alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available at the workplace

-Increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing highly touched surfaces such as elevator buttons, keyboards, mouse, phones, desks, computers, seating areas, lunch tables, kitchens, washrooms, etc.

 -Increasing the spatial separation between desks, workstations, and individuals themselves (e.g., employees at the office or in the company Van, customers), ideally a 2-meter separation.

Despite having to ensure public service continuity, LibanPost developed a minimum staffing strategy and equipped employees with protective accessories and reverted to video conferencing when possible or to work from home.

The Health Program at Makhzoumi Foundation has conducted the following in response to the pandemic:

-All staff have been trained on COVID19.

– Modifying schedule- PHC opening from 9:00-12:00 – with limited numbers of healthcare workers – rotation between staff.

– Patients approaching the PHC are being screened at the entry point( screening of fever with proper instructions on hand sanitizing). 

– Appointments are scheduled in a way to reduce and limit the number of patients in the waiting area.

-Awareness sessions on COVID-19 are being provided in the waiting area.

-Awareness is provided through Medical Mobile Unit rotation at Beirut 3 times per week at least (sterilization of all open stores & instructions and health tips for people on the streets).

-Continuous awareness through social media platforms such as interviews with specialists on COVID19. Also, providing remote support to strengthen mental health and psycho-social wellbeing during the COVID-19 Response, and to help people overcome their pandemic fear and anxiety.

-Starting an online mental health consultation during April.

-Daily coordination with MOPH primary health care networks.

Infographics: COVID-19 response by our network members

Has your organization implemented a home office policy?

Has your organization implemented policies on employee participation in face-to-face events or meetings and/or restrictions on national and international travel?

Does your organization have policies to support those suspected of being infected or infected?

Does your organization have initiatives to raise awareness about preventive measures, such as channels for clarifying doubts, for example?

Does your organization support an external program or other stakeholders to contain the spread of the virus in Lebanon?

Engage Online Via the UNGC Academy

Tuesday, 5 May: Global Cooperation for Crisis Response

Tuesday, 19 May: Business Ambition for 1.5°C: Uniting Business to Recover Better

Special Session on Tuesday, 12th of May known as the Regional Sessions: “Six regional spotlight sessions, part of a special series from the UN Global Compact Academy highlighting new and existing approaches to leadership in a time of global crisis”.

For more information about the Academy Sessions, please click here

Other Resources

  • Executive Update: Uniting Business to Tackle COVID-19 Through the 10 Principles, please click here 
  • The UN has consolidated all updates related to COVID-19 here.
  • The Secretary General addressed a letter to the leaders of G20 countries, calling for “an articulated response mechanism” to the COVID-19 crisis including rolling back international sanctions regimes around the world, a stimulus package and an inclusive recovery strategy.
  • The UN issued an unprecedented call to creatives everywhere to help spread effective and accessible health messages around the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to preemptively communicate guidance to areas that can still minimize or prevent a coronavirus outbreak while stopping the spread of misinformation. 
  • The UN Secretary-General, President of the Security Council, President of the General Assembly, President of ECOSOC and USG of DGC addressed Member States in a joint briefing, assuring all that the critical work of the UN is largely uninterrupted. The whole session can be viewed here. As stated by the PGA, “Although we are not sitting together, be rest assured that we are in this together.”
  • On 31 March, the UN Global Compact highlighted key points from the “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19” Report. The summary lists the various ways in which the private sector can contribute to remedying the repercussions from the pandemic with the support and guidance of UNGC.

We want to hear from your organization!

GCNL invites its network members to share what they are doing in response to COVID-19 giving examples of efforts to recover from, and support resiliency in the face of this global crisis. We invite you to share your ideas, advice and experience with our local community of more than 140 businesses and 70 NGOs. Only by #UnitingBusiness and supporting each other will be able to get through this crisis.


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