Lopos, a wearable device from Belgium that sets off alarms when social distancing is not being respected, is among several COVID-19-related projects picked for Expo 2020 Dubai’s Global Best Practice Programme.
A total of five new initiatives are joining 45 others, showcasing simple, effective and locally based solutions to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.
The latest additions come as the United Nations marks World Creativity and Innovation Day on April 21, celebrating human ingenuity and the creative economy's essential role in helping communities during the pandemic.
Since the call for COVID-19 proposals was issued in September, organisers received applications from 318 innovators, in 78 different countries, across five focus areas: Digitalisation; Education and Skills Development; Health and Wellbeing; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Protecting Livelihoods.
The new projects include the UAE-based Project Maji, which has devised the Maji Bucket, a safe, low-tech and low-cost invention, produced by People of Determination in Ghana, to ensure safe handwashing practices in rural areas.
Another is the SitatByoot initiative which has been working primarily with women in Jordan's vulnerable communities during lockdowns.
It has developed a vocational training programme during the pandemic to create certified ‘makers’, producing garments and hand-made goods for sale through its sister e-commerce platform, Makesy.
To date, Makesy has a certified network of 500-plus ‘makers’ fulfilling orders from home, helping the participants to enter the labour market, grow their businesses online and provide more income for their families.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai and Chair of the UAE National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, said, "The impact of major global challenges has made it very clear that, to build a better future, we must work together as a global community. Our expanded Global Best Practice Programme exemplifies Expo’s purpose to bring the world together – aligned with our theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ – to drive positive change and support projects from across the world that communities need now.
"These projects are providing tangible, life-changing solutions to the challenges brought on by the pandemic, and we are proud to showcase them at Expo 2020 Dubai – a one-of-a-kind global platform and an impactful incubator for new ideas," she added.