Of the COVID-19 concepts selected for analysis, “care” is the most frequently appearing in our document collection, with around 20,000 occurrences. “Health care” accounts for two thirds of these occurrences, making it the most frequent and most typical use of the term “care” by humanitarians. Many of the terms associated with care are related to health, including treatment, surgery, support and service. In addition to health, food, protection and education are also associated with care. Most of the main types of care are closely related to health, such as primary health care and medical care, with the exception of child care and social care. Technical usages mostly refer to health care systems, services and staff, as well as access to health services.

Further research may be needed to explore how COVID-19 has altered humanitarian understandings of the concept of care. For example, caring for elderly and vulnerable populations has taken on new meaning, such as remaining in confinement or shielding at risk groups from the population. 

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Please note: The overview on this page represents a first summary and exploratory analysis of the concept, proposed by the HE core team for discussion, on the basis of preliminary linguistic data. It is not the full concept entry which will be based on rigorous linguistic methodology and collaboration with humanitarian practitioners and experts.

Coming soon: Expanded concept explanations, visualisations and analysis for this and 17 other COVID-19 related concepts.

“Care” occurs consistently over time in the document collection, with only small fluctuations between years. Its consistently high frequency reflects its common usage as a noun and verb in a wide range of humanitarian documents.

Oceania stands out with “care” occuring frequently among documents published by organisations from this region of the world. One reason may be that the region has a relatively high proportion of activity reports published by religious entities and NGO Federations (over 40% of all activity reports), which are also the most frequent types of organisations.

CARE International is one of the major NGO Federations, which may explain some of the high frequency in this category. Religious entities also frequently refer to the concept of care, compared to states or IGOs who refer to the concept the least.

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