Updates from the field #22: Coming together to tackle COVID-19

Photo showing a nurse wearing personal protective equipment preparing medical testing materials
Caption: UN country teams provide supplies and equipment to boost treatment capacities
Photo: Photo: UN Women/Ploy Phutpheng

The UN Development system continues to support national efforts to fight against COVID-19 in a collaborative way through its UN Country Teams, mobilizing development partners and other stakeholders to respond to the pandemic even beyond the health response.

Below, we highlight some of the global responses as of 14 August 2020:


In Guatemala, there are more than 59,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 2,200 deaths. The UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Rebeca Arias, is working closely with local authorities in responding to the pandemic, recently providing more than US $177,000 of medical and protective supplies to the Ministry of Health to boost treatment capacity across 23 hospitals nationwide.

 With funding from the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), IOM (International Organization for Migration), UNFPA (UN Population Fund), UNICEF (UN Children’s Fund), and PAHO-WHO (Pan American Health Organization-World Health Organization) have established a programme to observe human rights, gender equality, multiculturalism and other key UN values during quarantine, while protecting health workers and providing support to vulnerable people across the country.


In Mauritius, where there are more than 300 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 10 deaths, the UN team, led by Resident Coordinator Christine Umutoni, has been re-prioritising resources and mobilising all development partners, UN system entities, bilateral and the private sector on a multisector plan beyond the health response.

More specifically, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been providing immediate support to the ministry of health with technical guidelines and the implementation of a system to share information in real time while drafting the first health-related budgeted response plan.

The Pacific

The UN team in the Pacific, led by Resident Coordinator Sanaka Samarasinha in Fiji, is organizing “Pacific Unite: Saving Lives Together”, a virtual concert that will take place on 15 August and will bring together local, regional and international artists to pay tribute to essential workers across the region, while renewing the Secretary-General's call for global solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 through music and art.

The event will also invite global leaders to build a more inclusive and resilient Pacific and a more sustainable and equitable global community. The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, will participate by video. His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will also take part in this first-of-its-kind televised and digitally streamed concert.

The concert will be shown across more than 17 countries in the Pacific and will be streamed live globally on UN WebTV and on the United Nations in the Pacific Facebook page on Saturday, 15 August, at 7:00 p.m. Fiji local time (3:00 a.m. New York time).

UN entities involved in this initiative
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative