The UN’s response to COVID-19 in Pakistan is about saving lives, protecting people and recovering better. This report showcases how the UN in Pakistan mobilized to mount a swift defence against COVID-19 and change millions of lives for the better in 2020. To respond to the massive needs triggered by the pandemic, we worked tirelessly with our partners across all tiers of Government, development organizations, donors, communities, local leaders, civil society, the private sector, the media, youth activists and the people of Pakistan.
Our WHO-led health response helped to control the transmission of the coronavirus, reduce mortality and get people the health care they need. We supported the Government’s country-level coordination, planning and monitoring. We assisted surveillance and case identification, stronger laboratory capacities and testing, and precautions at points of entry. We provided logistics, common services and operational support to the Government and other partners on the frontline of the pandemic. Building on the humanitarian-development nexus, our humanitarian response helped the most vulnerable people in Pakistan to withstand the COVID-19 crisis.
Our COVID-19 socio-economic response cut across every outcome of the One UN Programme III – the UN’s framework for cooperation with the Government of Pakistan. UN initiatives created cash-for-work opportunities, trained entrepreneurs and aided business continuity. We helped Pakistan’s health system to plan for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and ensure the continuity of essential health services. We combated malnutrition and strove to cement food security, even as the pandemic hit agricultural livelihoods hard. Our efforts built resilience to disaster risks and fomented environmental sustainability because, if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we cannot afford to ignore risks to our planet and its people. We supported children to continue learning, both remotely and safely in classrooms. We worked to prevent, address and respond to gender-based violence while ensuring psychosocial support services for survivors. Our efforts prioritized strengthened social protection, so that no one is left behind.