Updates from the field #21: Mitigating the impact of COVID-19
UN teams continue to work with local authorities and partners to help mitigate the health and socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic. Below, we highlight a few of those efforts as of 11 August 2020.
In Bhutan, where there have been more than 100 COVID-19 cases but no deaths, the UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Gerald Daly, has been working closely with authorities on a health and socioeconomic response to the pandemic.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are providing protective, laboratory, medical and cleaning equipment to boost testing and treatment capacity, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is training reproductive and maternal health workers. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing information technology support and equipment for contact tracing and monitoring in border areas.
The team is also mobilizing more than $9 million to help mitigate the impact of the crisis on the economy, particularly the tourism sector, and to help the agriculture sector and people displaced by the pandemic, through the World Food Programme (WFP). To boost the livelihoods of workers displaced by the pandemic, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is also supporting intensive vegetable production in urban and peri-urban areas.
UNICEF is also training hundreds of young volunteers on infection prevention and, together with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and WFP, is providing learning materials and support to the national school reopening plan.
In Egypt, where there are more than 95,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths, the UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Richard Dictus, is working closely with the Government to mitigate the health and socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic.
The UN country team has provided protective equipment and medical supplies to the Ministry of Health and Population. They have also organized communication campaigns to share verified information with millions of people on how to reduce the spread of the virus.
To protect the most vulnerable people – including women and children, refugees, people living with HIV, and prison inmates – the UN in Egypt is providing counseling, support against gender-based violence, shelter, mental health care, hygiene kits and an economic safety net through cash transfers.
In Uruguay, where there have been nearly 1,300 COVID-19 cases and more than 30 deaths, the UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Mireia Villar Forner, is supporting the Government’s response. The UN country team has also mobilized more than $1.3 million to address the pandemic.
While the Pan American Health Organization-World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) provided direct technical assistance in designing the COVID-19 national contingency plan, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) partnered with other government entities, including the National Agency for Research and Innovation, to produce ventilators. For their part, UNDP, UNICEF and UN Women provided protective equipment, laboratory, medical, and cleaning supplies.
Vulnerable communities, including women, children, refugees, inmates and people living with HIV received educational materials, access to safe care, shelters, hygiene kits and protection from violence and abuse through programmes and materials produced by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), UNDP, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF and UN Women, while the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), FAO, the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNDP and UNICEF led data analysis and survey exercises to develop socioeconomic policies that protect lives and livelihoods.
UNDP and UNESCO have also trained journalists on safe COVID-19 reporting practices.