COVID-19 Response: Weekly UN in Zimbabwe Update Issue V | 29 May 2020


Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative ensures services to survivors of violence continue unhindered by COVID-19

The joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls has provided Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for service providers at Victim Friendly Units, One-Stop Centers, Shelters of Safety at the national and community levels and for those working in clinics that provide SRHR services to key populations. The Initiative has focused its support to enabling gender-based violence services providers to receive the psycho-social support that they need as they provide gender-based violence and COVID -19 services. In this regard, the Spotlight Initiative provided the Musasa National GBV hotline to expand through the inclusion of four new lines, funded by Spotlight, two (2) of which are for psycho-social support. During the first two weeks of May, when the new lines became operational, 16 GBV service providers (7 in Harare and 9 in community-based shelters) received psychosocial support through the new lines.

UN solidarity flight continues to deliver critical supplies in the response to COVID-19

UN Solidarity Flight arrived in Harare on 22 May 2020 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia carrying valuable PPE and other cargo including COVID-19 testing kits, thermometers and ventilators. Donated by the Jack Ma Foundation, the cargo was delivered to the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe.

WFP coordinated the arrival of this cargo through its Aviation Service, which provides global passenger and light cargo air services to all humanitarian organizations participating in the COVID-19 response, including UN agencies, international and national NGOs, and civil societies.

Periods in pandemics: it’s every girl’s right to manage her period safely and with dignity

The United Nations marked Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May under the theme “Periods in Pandemics”. The day which is marked on 28 May every year aims to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM). The 28th was selected to acknowledge that 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle.

In low-income countries, girls' and women's choices of menstrual hygiene materials are often limited by the costs, availability and social norms. The coronavirus pandemic is having far-reaching consequences for many people. One of these impacts is on everyone who menstruates. As part of commemorating the Menstrual Hygiene Day, UNFPA and UNICEF issued nine key messages to raise public awareness on menstrual hygiene as essential items.

Supporting adolescents to cope with COVID-19 school closure

UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa has published videos targeting adolescents on how to cope with COVID-19 school closures. The videos provide tips on studying during the lockdown as well as coping with life and safety after the lockdown. Access the videos here:

• How to deal with and reduce anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic • How to study during lockdown • Am I safe after lockdown?

Meanwhile, Leonard Cheshire has published a resource pack which provides advice and guidance for parents and caregivers on how best to protect and support their children with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.