Tuesday, June 2, 2020

COVID-19: Stay up-to-date with the latest on UNOPS support to response efforts


The impacts of this rapidly evolving health pandemic are now being felt in every corner of the world. UNOPS is working closely with the UN family, governments and other partners to support mitigation and response efforts.

COVID-19 poses serious challenges to the capacity of health systems around the world. Medical personnel are under pressure. Supplies and equipment are in urgent demand. And in many instances, temporary health infrastructure is needed to cope with the influx of patients requiring specialized treatment.

Below is a summary of the work UNOPS is currently engaged in to help partners address immediate needs and respond to the longer-term impacts of COVID-19.

27 March 2020 – Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro: UNOPS is helping procure essential medical and non-medical items as prioritized by the three governments. With initial funding of € 3 million from the European Union for Serbia and $2.5 million from the Kingdom of Norway for all three countries, UNOPS is procuring 150 respirators to strengthen medical capacity and help respond to the pandemic.

25 March 2020 – Guatemala: UNOPS is assisting Guatemala’s Social Security Institute (IGSS) with the procurement of urgent medical items to diagnose, treat and monitor patients infected with COVID-19. Our team is also advising on mitigation actions that will help to ensure that the provision of existing healthcare services continues as planned – including the purchase of essential medicines and equipment. UNOPS specialists from a range of sectors are also supporting the IGSS to manage the health crisis more broadly.

25 March 2020 – Paraguay: UNOPS is working with the government to procure medical equipment such as ventilators and monitors, as well as other items needed for health clinics. Funded by Itaipu Binacional – one of the world’s largest generators of renewable energy – the project will provide an additional 35 hospital beds and seven intensive care monitors and reinforce the capacity of the Ministry of Health’s response efforts.

24 March 2020 – Argentina: UNOPS is supporting the government’s response efforts by helping to urgently procure 10 fully-equipped emergency modular units, which will provide 824 extra inpatient therapy beds. One-third of the space will be dedicated to intensive care units.

March 2020 – Somalia: UNOPS is supporting the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia COVID-19 crisis communications task force, to distribute key information about the virus and the coordinated response in the country. In particular, the task force is helping raise the visibility of police and their broader role in community policing through safety and security-oriented awareness-raising communications activities.

17 February 2020 – Afghanistan: UNOPS is working with the World Health Organization to raise awareness and provide information on COVID-19 through Awaaz Afghanistan – the country’s nationwide inter-agency humanitarian call centre. The centre, managed by UNOPS, offers a single point of contact for all Afghans – including returnees and those affected by conflict and natural disasters. In February Awaaz received 144 calls from 22 provinces with callers enquiring about COVID-19. From 1-14 March, Awaaz registered 185 enquiries around COVID-19 from 28 different provinces.