Impact of COVID-19
Although we have temporarily put our deployment of volunteers on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainties both within New Zealand and across the wider Pacific, we’re continuing to recruit and build our talent pool of prospective volunteers so we can return to supporting our partner organisations and communities in the wider Pacific as soon as we can.
The medical advice over COVID-19’s risk factors, based on international, science-based evidence, is that certain groups of people are much more susceptible to more serious symptoms if they contract COVID-19.
These higher risk groups include people with certain existing medical conditions and those who are aged 65 and over. (For example, international evidence has shown that people 65 and over are five times more likely to be hospitalised and 90 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people in their twenties.)
Based on this information, we have made the difficult decision that people in these susceptible groups (including people who would be turning 65 while on assignment) will not be able to be deployed out of New Zealand while the pandemic continues or until a vaccine is developed and widely available.
We have not taken this decision lightly. We have done this to ensure the health of our volunteers and to ensure we do not place extra burdens on the communities where we operate.
E-volunteers who are working remotely from New Zealand and whose assignment does not require overseas travel are not affected.