Our UN country teams and their partners around the world, including host governments, are continuing to work together in tackling the multifaceted impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and recovering better together to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. We are also responding to other challenges, focusing on providing support to those most vulnerable. Below are some highlights of our work in March 2022.
31 March - The UN team in Albania, led by Fiona McCluney, the Resident Coordinator, continues supporting authorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the continuity of essential services, while boosting laws to protect vulnerable groups, including people with stateless status and children. On the health front, we provided ambulances, equipment for rapid COVID-19 detection, and reached more than 100,000 children in over 300 schools with COVID-19 prevention material last year. More than 60,000 health staff and volunteers were trained on infection prevention, control and surveillance, while 7,000 newborns benefited from improved quality of neonatal care. Our team also reached 10,000 children and parents with hygiene supplies, 9,000 women got tested for cervical cancer and over 1,500 patients received radiotherapy.
2 March - Our UN team in Ethiopia, under the leadership of Resident Coordinator Catherine Sozi, has been tackling the multifaceted impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We supported the launch of a second nation-wide vaccination campaign and distributed over 830,000 masks, 2,500 protection coveralls, 1,600 surgical gowns and 1,000 face shields to health workers across the country. UNICEF also supported the procurement and distribution of over 14 million vaccines. We have been working with the authorities on risk communications initiatives and, through UNHCR, advocated for the inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers in national prevention and response efforts. In the country, some 20,000 refugees have received a first dose and over 5,000 are fully vaccinated.
9 March - Led by Resident Coordinator Karima El Korri, our UN in Malaysia team continues supporting the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO is providing technical guidance, including strengthening the national genomic surveillance strategy while UNHCR has increased outreach to refugees to ensure children are vaccinated. To boost prevention and detection measures, IOM distributed health and hygiene kits to migrants through an EU-funded project, and UNODC provided over 20,000 COVID-19 tests and 5,000 protective suits to the Malaysian Department of Correction. On communications and outreach, UNDP is supporting initiatives to reduce vaccine hesitancy among indigenous peoples and is contributing to activities tackling vaccine inequality
17 March – Our UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Sen Pang, continues supporting COVID-19 safety measures and boosting vaccination. WHO has been working with the Government to ensure that the public health system can withstand future health shocks. We are also providing support on the socio-economic front, with UNDP working with national authorities on assessing the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and FAO on food systems. With more than 21 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated, the UN in Namibia is organizing additional outreach campaigns on vaccination for students aged 12 to 17.
Papua New Guinea
3 March - In Papua New Guinea, under the leadership of Resident Coordinator a.i. Dirk Wagener, our UN team continues to support authorities in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. We are focusing on boosting vaccine uptake, supporting risk communications and community engagement as well as enhancing laboratory and logistics support, in close coordination with health partners. Through the EU-UN Spotlight initiative, we are working with authorities on the protection of women and girls from violence, a key challenge during the pandemic. We are also carrying out a second assessment of the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 to support policies that protect those most vulnerable.
7 March - Our UN Team in Timor-Leste, led by Resident Coordinator Roy Trivedy, is supporting the national COVID-19 response and recovery, including on purchasing essential equipment, maintaining safe isolation centres, building national capacity and boosting clinical capacity. We are also supporting national vaccination initiatives, with a focus on reaching those in the remote, hard-to-reach areas. And our team continues providing risk communications support to prevent the spread of the virus while boosting vaccine confidence. We are mobilizing such initiatives at the community and local levels, including through school campaigns and public service announcements.
4 March - Costa Rica received over 200,000 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses from France through the COVAX Facility.
2 March - More than 24 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Ethiopia through COVAX to date, with almost 20 million people receiving at least one dose in the country.
17 March - Honduras received nearly 350,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from the US through the COVAX mechanism, bringing the total vaccine doses that the country received through COVAX to nearly 4,8 million. Nearly 12 million vaccines have been administered, contributing to the full vaccination of 4.6 million people, which is over 46 per cent of the eligible population.
9 March - To date, with nearly 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines arriving through COVAX, over 25 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which is nearly 80 per cent of the population. Over 45 per cent of the population received a COVID-19 booster shot.
4 March - Over 18 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrived through COVAX, bringing the total such vaccine doses the country has received to over 24.6 million. This shipment of vaccines will support the on-going immunization of the 20 per cent target population, which is nearly 26 million people.
Papua New Guinea
3 March – The country received nearly 1.3 million AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, of which nearly 300,000 AstraZeneca doses arrived via the COVAX from countries including Australia, China, New Zealand and the United States.
7 March – In Timor-Leste, 85 per cent, or over 670,000 of people over 18 have been receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 71 per cent, which is over half a million people over 18, have been fully vaccinated. The country received nearly half a million of all its COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.
18 March – An additional 4,680,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Venezuela through the COVAX mechanism, bringing the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses, the country has received through COVAX to more than 16,700,000 doses.
OTHER AREAS OF WORK
11 March - Our UN team led by Resident Coordinator a.i. Shigeki Komatsubara is supporting the government following a recent polio outbreak in the country, the first such case in Malawi in 30 years and in Africa in more than five years. A communication campaign on polio prevention was rolled out immediately after the outbreak, and a rapid response team that the UN and partners deployed to Malawi has been reinforcing coordination, surveillance, data management, communications and operations. WHO and UNICEF are supporting on risk assessment and the authorities are preparing at least four rounds of mass immunizations, with support from WHO and UNICEF. The first immunization round is scheduled to start on 21 March.
8 March – Our UN team in Moldova, led by Resident Coordinator Simon Springett, confirms that UNHCR delivered its first humanitarian airlift for refugees fleeing Ukraine on 2 March. UNHCR began to distribute about 2,000 thermal blankets that just arrived to refugee families with children and other vulnerable people at a border crossing point in southern Moldova. More than 250,000 refugees have crossed the Ukrainian border in less than two weeks, with over 100,000 refugees remaining in the country. Nearly 70 per cent of refugees are women and girls, while nearly every second refugee is a child. We continue addressing the needs of those most vulnerable, particularly women and children on the ground, especially with UNFPA, UNHCR and UNICEF.
11 March - The UN in Mozambique, under the leadership of Resident Coordinator Myrta Kaulard, is providing support to the authorities after Cyclone Gombe made landfall in Nampula Province today, three years after Cyclone Idai brought wide devastation to Mozambiqe. The UN is in close contact with authorities to provide immediate support and humanitarian assistance that saves and sustains lives. Nampula is densely populated and hosts more than 100,000 IDPs from the conflict in Cabo Delgado. Our team is concerned about the 1.4 million people living in high-risk areas (WFP-ADAM) that are on the expected trajectory and could be exposed to the shock for four days.
24 March – Our UN team in Tajikistan is supporting authorities to address the needs of over 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers, including many from Afghanistan. UNHCR is working closely with Resident Coordinator Sezin Sinanoglu on addressing the needs of the people we serve. US$40 million is being mobilized through a Refugee Response Plan, bringing together more than 30 humanitarian and development partners including IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC, WFP and WHO. Last year, the UN team provided school assistance to 860 children, legal support to over 4,000 people, and food packages for around 13,000 refugees and asylum seekers, nearly 70 per cent of whom are women and children. We also worked with authorities to include refugees in the National COVID-19 Response. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi visited Tajikistan last week and called on the international community to redouble its support for Afghan refugees in Tajikistan, the region and beyond.
18 March – From Lviv, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Osnat Lubrani stressed that our UN team is working on a joint response to integrate the long-term development needs with the immediate humanitarian response to the crisis. WFP is supporting internally displaced people in the country, with nutrition remaining a big problem, especially for children aged 6-23 months. Robert Piper, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination said the crisis is also impacting neighboring countries and beyond, with Resident Coordinators in over 100 countries having shared preliminary impacts on sustainable development.