Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and UNICEF have launched a new version of Primero called Primero X. It is an open sources case management web application to aid social service providers to coordinate support to vulnerable children. This includes lifesaving services, family reunification and tracing while still upholding physical distancing and movement restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The launch of Primero X comes as there has been an increase in cases of domestic and gender based violence linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic, millions of children are more subject to violence, abuse and neglect. Violence prevention and response services have been disrupted in 104 countries due to the coronavirus pandemic leaving at least 1.8 Billion children vulnerable.
UNICEF and partners have been urging governments and protection authorities to adopt technologies such as Primero X to ensure that vulnerable women and children may be protected under such circumstances.
“Social workers offer a lifeline to vulnerable children, especially during times of crisis and upheaval,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Charlotte Petri Gornitzka. “COVID-19 is undermining the ability of these essential workers to do their jobs at the same time as needs are increasing. The partnership between UNICEF and Microsoft will help strengthen the Primero platform and scale it up to benefit millions of children and young people, both now and in the future.” Primero is an example of how UNICEF partners with business — based on a shared-value approach, where producing social value and addressing challenges also makes business sense.
“We firmly believe technology can be a force for good in these challenging times, and our partnership with UNICEF to support vulnerable children and women is even more critical during COVID-19,” said Microsoft Global Head of Tech for Social Impact Justin Spelhaug. “Primero is improving the quality and consistency of care for social workers so they can focus on those who need it most.”