● The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Latin America and the Caribbean in a context of low growth, marked inequality and vulnerability, growing poverty and extreme poverty, weakening of social cohesion and increasing expressions of social discontent.
● COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Latin America and are currently at or near the highest levels observed since the start of the pandemic in all countries.
● Most countries in the region have weak and fragmented health systems, which do not guarantee the universal access needed to address the COVID-19 crisis.
● The impact on the health of personnel on the frontlines, which often lack adequate personal protection equipment (PPE), remains high.
● The crisis is having a considerable impact on women and their access to healthcare, particularly to sexual and reproductive health services. Lockdown measures enforced in countries have also led to a sharp increase in gender-based violence.
● Contraceptives are expected to suffer shortages or stock-outs by the end of this year.
● The pandemic is showing increased incidence among vulnerable populations, particularly indigenous people, afro-descendants, prisoners, migrants, and members of the LGBTI community.
● Urgent funding is needed to meet rising needs.