UN teams are tirelessly working with authorities and partners to respond to the ongoing pandemic and other multifaceted challenges across the globe. Today, we highlight some of the coordinated efforts.
4 November - We have an update from our UN team in Cuba, which has been supporting authorities and all the population to address the health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. The UN team boosted its support— especially at its peak, and considering the Delta variant—to health services, with diagnostic and protection measures, importing lifesaving oxygen concentrators, oximeters and installing oxygen plants. The team delivered over 1.4 million items including gloves, surgical masks, syringes as well as nearly 100 WHO-certified refrigerators to safely store vaccines and 100,000 COVID-19 tests. Also, over 65,000 people received food items, especially vulnerable groups, including patients in hospitals in the most affected provinces, as well as children, women and older adults. PAHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNHCR, FAO and WFP all supported the efforts, coordinated by our Secretary-General’s representative on the ground, Consuelo Vidal Bruce.
19 November - The UN team serving Barbados and 10 Eastern Caribbean countries and territories, along with authorities, launched authorities a new initiative to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and boost the uptake of doses. This effort gathers UN experts, including from PAHO, UNICEF, ITU, UN Women, UNDP and ILO, with financial support from the Governments of the United States and Canada. In some countries, vaccination rates are much lower than the Latin America and the Caribbean average, ranging from less than 20 per cent to up to 60 per cent of the total population. Resident Coordinator Didier Trebucq highlighted the importance of vaccination as the pandemic is heavily impacting economies and societies, increasing debt and deepening existing inequalities, acknowledging the hard work of authorities in the Eastern Caribbean that have managed to secure an offer of vaccines for their population. He added that the restrictions of movement through border controls, curfews, school closures and lockdown measures have come at a huge cost to the region. But science is on our side, he said, and vaccines are available in the Eastern Caribbean – and are crucial to fast-track recovery.
29 November - The UN team in Malaysia, led by Resident Coordinator Karima El Korri, continues to support authorities to tackle the multiple impacts of the pandemic. WHO has been supporting the national vaccination plan, aligned with new evidence on recommendation for primary and booster doses. WHO has also supported modelling to assess the projection of the impact of different intervention strategies, also signing a three-year programme with the European Union for emergency preparedness, health system strengthening and health security. UNHCR is supporting vaccination programmes for refugees across several states through NGO partners, who received US$300,000 worth of personal protective equipment to undertake the programme. For its part, IOM is providing multilingual communication materials on vaccination for migrant communities, training for partners assisting with vaccination processes, and engaging with civil society organizations.. In September, UNICEF kicked off a four-month digital campaign for youth to boost trust in the COVID-19 vaccines, while also promoting mental health and wellbeing.
16 November - The UN Team led by Resident Coordinator Gita Sabharwal, continues to support authorities to boost vaccine confidence and access, while also supporting the wider socio-economic needs of vulnerable populations. Through UNHCR, the UN team led the pilot vaccination of nearly 1,300 displaced persons and refugees, with IOM and UN Women delivering a COVID-19 information hub for migrant workers. For their part, WHO and IOM worked closely educating migrant health volunteers on COVID-19 case-finding. IOM also started a regional border health project to support coordination with neighbouring countries on COVID prevention, detection and response. The UN team delivered 550 oxygen concentrators to hospitals in severely affected areas, as well as 600 cold boxes and 1,000 vaccine carriers, which were donated by Japan through UNICEF. In addition, more than 3,600 migrants received protective equipment, as well as first-aid and essential items for quarantine through WHO. The UN team also facilitated mental health and psychosocial support services for COVID-affected children, and provided over 10,000 sets of learning materials, hygiene supplies and relief items to almost 450,000 children and families in high-risk urban areas amid school closures. Thailand reported a steadily decreasing daily average of new COVID-19 cases and deaths from 5-11 November. Over 44 million first vaccination doses have been administered – and that’s nearly 90 per cent of the national target.
17 November - Our UN team in Fiji has been supporting authorities to deal with the impacts of the pandemic. Fiji recently received over 150,000 doses of [[Moderna]] vaccines donated by the Government of the United States through COVAX and 56,000 doses [[of AstraZeneca]] donated by the Government of Japan, also through COVAX. These batches now bring the total number received through this mechanism backed by the UN and partners to a total of over 300,000, supporting other bilateral arrangements. The country has managed to vaccinate almost all – 97 per cent – people 18 years and older with a first dose and nearly 90 per cent with two. The rollout of this vaccination plan has counted on the UN team’s support, worth over US$12 million, equipping health authorities with COVID-testing machines, vaccine equipment, technical support, water and sanitation and personal protection kits, and nutrition supplies. WHO technical teams are providing ongoing support to the vaccination campaign via health officials and technical experts, including on communications campaigns.
3 November - Under the leadership of Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand, our UN in Indonesia team is continuing to support the national COVID-19 response. With 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses now administered per week, pressure is easing on the national healthcare system. We also continue to facilitate the delivery of more than 40 million COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX, while supporting other aspects of the national vaccine rollout campaign, such as the deployment of a cold chain logistics digital application called SMILE, which is now being used by The Audit Board of Indonesia. Our team is also expanding partnerships with UNICEF signing a new five-year agreement with USAID for a US $50 million funding portfolio to support Indonesia’s response.. Our support to the most vulnerable is also on-going, with IOM and UNHCR partnering with local health authorities in vaccinating refugees. As of 1 November, 4,800 refugees have been receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine doses and 2,100 are fully vaccinated.
Latin America and the Caribbean
11 to 23 November - Our UN teams in Latin America and the Caribbean have received several batches of COVAX-backed vaccines. Bolivia received over 90,000 doses [Pfizer] donated by the Government of France through COVAX, bringing the total doses received to over 3.5 million. Bolivia is carrying out the largest vaccination deployment in its history, protecting millions from the severe health impacts of COVID-19. With support from Sweden, Spain, the United States and France, vaccines are reaching the country's, urban and rural populations.
Also, Guatemala received over a million doses [Pfizer], and now the total COVAX-backed vaccines there is over 3.2 million. In the Caribbean over 19,000 [AZ] doses landed in Antigua and Barbuda also last week, with over 60,000 vaccines being administered via COVAX. And Ecuador [Sinovac] and Nicaragua [AZ] also received over 620,000 and 134,000 doses, bringing the total numbers to over 1.8 and 2.8 million doses respectively, also received through COVAX.
In mid-November, Venezuela received over 2.5 million [Sinovac] vaccines, its third COVAX-backed batch, with doses now totaling almost 6 million – and that’s half of the number Venezuela officially requested to COVAX. PAHO/WHO has supported health authorities in the surveillance and investigation of disease cases, also providing laboratory supplies for the diagnosis and material to prevent infection, especially in health facilities.
Our UN team in Jamaica says that over 100,000 [Pfizer] doses arrived in October with another batch of nearly 370,000 [AstraZeneca] doses donated by the Government of Canada in transit and expected to land today, which will total over a million doses Jamaica receives through COVAX, with PAHO’s support at the regional level.
In mid-November, Peru received in mid-November over 4 million doses [Sinovac] of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Mechanism. Since March, COVAX has delivered over 4 million doses to Peru, which, as our Resident Coordinator Igor Garafulic highlighted, are crucial to support the national vaccination plan, also showing that an equitable global response is possible.
18 November - Our UN team in the Maldives, led by UN Resident Coordinator Catherine Haswell, continues supporting the national health and socio-economic response to COVID-19. As of 13 November of the total eligible population 18 years and above, nearly 80 per cent have been fully vaccinated. Authorities also prioritized children aged 12 to 17 for school safety and reopening and over 90 per cent of them are now fully vaccinated too. The UN team, specifically UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been playing a key role in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. Also, over 250,000 doses have been delivered through the COVAX facility, out of which over 44 per cent and 52 per cent of these vaccines were donated to COVAX by the Governments of Japan and the United States respectively. While the Maldives has managed to keep the number of cases low and steady for the capital Male’ area for the past three months, a recent rise in COVID-19 has been observed in the outer atolls. As of 13 November; the situation in 31 islands is being closely monitored, with efforts to halt the spread of the disease, including with a vaccination boost.
10 November - The UN team, under the leadership of Resident Coordinator Sara Beysolow Nyanti, continues to support the Government’s multifaceted response. The team supports the national vaccination campaign by boosting cold chain capacity, providing over 2,500 refrigerators, freezers, cold boxes, ultra-cold chain equipment and vaccine carriers. Technical teams from WHO are also supporting a network of Surveillance Medical Officer and risk communication support across the country. As of 8 November, 16.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Nepal, covering 43.9 per cent of the eligible population with a first dose and 37.5 per cent fully. The UN has facilitated the delivery of over 4.2 million doses of vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, under which 1,614,740 doses were donated by Japan and 1,534,850 doses by the US.
17 November - Our UN team in the Dominican Republic, led by Resident Coordinator Mauricio Ramirez, is alarmed by the deportation of hundreds of pregnant women to neighbouring Haiti. Our UN team calls on national authorities to suspend actions that violate the human rights of the Haitian population. Our UN team expressed concerns over the detention and deportation of pregnant women who were seeking or already receiving care in health centers in the Dominican Republic. They stressed that these actions place the physical integrity and life of women at risk and do not comply with the established national protocols nor international conventions and standards on deportation of migrants. Our UN team calls on authorities to prevent and suspend all actions that violate human rights, restoring respect for dignity in the application of immigration and security policies.
30 November - Regarding the elections held on 28th November, our UN team in Honduras has congratulated all people in Honduras for their participation and for holding civic and peaceful elections.This shows that Hondurans have reiterated their commitment to democracy, our UN team says. They also recognize the work of the Honduran electoral institutions, who have been managing the electoral process, as well as the important role played by the Armed Forces and the National Police. Our team on the ground trusts that the Honduran institutions will continue to act with transparency and promptness to resolve any challenge or appeal, in accordance with current legislation, also calling on all citizens to act with patience and respect the announcement of final results by the National Electoral Council. Our UN team reiterates its commitment to support authorities and all people in Honduras to advance on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind.
Sierra Leone/Fuel tanker collision
10 November - On 9 November, the UN team in Sierra Leone visited the epicentre of the fuel tanker collision that took place on 5 November in the suburb of Freetown. Led by Resident Coordinator a.i. and WFP Country Representative Steve Nsubuga, heads of UN entities (FAO, IMF, IOM, RCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNIDO, UNICEF, UNOPS, WHO, and UNFPA) and the African Development Bank met with the Mayor of the Freetown municipality and officials of the National Disaster Management Agency at the Incident Command Centre. WHO is providing medical supplies, with the first consignment of 6.6 metric tons arriving in Freetown on 7 November. The UN expressed solidarity with those impacted and UN officials also provided assurance the team on the ground is engaging with national authorities to provide the necessary support and coordination in the aftermath of the incident.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
2 November - After six months of the La Soufriere Volcano emergency in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, our UN team continues to support authorities to recover, cleaning up ash, supporting people with emergency cash, water and sanitation, food assistance, temporary housing and boosting health systems. Our UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq, just visited the country, which has over 110,000 inhabitants, and met with people and Government partners to check results of the UN’s support. Nine shelters hosting nearly 130 evacuees remain active and most healthcare facilities have re-opened. WFP supported over 3,500 evacuated households with several rounds of emergency cash transfer. UNICEF provided psychosocial support, plus 1,000 hygiene kits, and support remote learning across 45 schools. The UN is supporting authorities to provide temporary housing solutions for nearly 70 relocated families and portable water, which is now available to most affected households. PAHO is also bolstering 20 healthcare facilities with water and sanitation, and essential medical and health supplies. Over 1,200 metric tonnes of humanitarian relief cargo have been received and recorded to date. With WFP’s support, 730 metric tonnes, including 200 metric tonnes of food assistance, have been dispatched to evacuees through five warehouse locations. The UN’s Funding Appeal raised approximately US$ 11.3 million—close to 40 per cent of the initial funding requirements for humanitarian and recovery support.