UNFPA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic focuses on the continuity of sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response, risk communication and community engagement, and provision of lifesaving supplies including contraceptives, maternal health drugs and supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
UNFPA is working with partners worldwide to support SRH/GBV services, risk communication, and supplies. This includes providing PPE and training staff in maternity wards, setting up mobile clinics to reach vulnerable communities, and procuring life-saving SRH commodities. The integrated GBV/SRH mobile teams also provide psychosocial support services such as individual counselling and consent-based referrals. Since April, UNFPA has procured US$16 million worth of PPE for 86 countries.
As of 31 August 2020, UNFPA-supported programmes had reached millions of people, including an estimated 10 million women and 5 million young people aged 10-24, in 52 countries covered in the UN-led global humanitarian response plan (GHRP). More results can be viewed in the latest GHRP progress report here.
A UNFPA survey shows that GBV services, in-person and/or remote, have been maintained with fewer disruptions than in the previous reporting period. Provision of remote services and other alternative modalities are helping to reach more people. The tele-psychosocial services in Pakistan and the Dominican Republic, and psychosocial services provided in quarantine sites in Somalia are examples of successful outreach. However, some countries have seen a substantial decrease in the uptake of GBV services, which UNFPA is working to address through awareness raising and community engagement.
UNFPA has developed a body of technical briefs to guide work in countries, in the context of the WHO global strategic preparedness and response plan, UNFPA COVID-19 global response plan, Global Humanitarian Response Plan and the UN Secretary-General’s policy briefs on COVID-19 response.