The Coronavirus pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two. Since its emergence in Asia late last year, the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica. Cases are rising daily in Africa, the Americas, and Europe.
UNDP COVID-19 response in Africa
Every country needs to act immediately to prepare, respond, and recover. The UN system will support countries through each stage, with a focus on the most vulnerable.
Drawing on our experience with other outbreaks such as Ebola, HIV, SARS, TB and malaria, as well as our long history of working with the private and public sector, UNDP will help countries to urgently and effectively respond to COVID-19 as part of its mission to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and build resilience to crises and shocks.
“None of us is safe until all of us are safe and no one is left behind. That’s already one of the major lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the challenges ahead are unprecedented, we should all take hope in the words of Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it is done.” UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa
We are messaging widely, including through innovative digital technologies—taking advantage of the large number of Africans with smartphones — to highlight the simple actions that can keep you safe; such as frequent hand washing, staying home when sick and not touching your face. A recent initiative by UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, and WhatsApp established the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub which helps in spreading current, fact-checked information to health workers, educators, nonprofits, local governments, local businesses, communities, and their leaders.
It will require all of society to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to cushion the potentially devastating impact it may have on vulnerable people and economies.
We must rebuild trust and cooperation, within and among nations, and between people and their governments.
UNDP’s support will also help ensure that the responses of individual countries are comprehensive as well as equitable and inclusive, so that no one is left out and countries can continue to make progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.