COVID-19 Response: Weekly UN in Zimbabwe Update Issue VIII | 19 June 2020


Working to improve testing returnees

“The United Nations and its agencies, funds and programmes has supported the development of the national COVID-19 response plan in an efforts to save lives, protect people, ensure continued health services and has recently finalized a socio-economic framework to assist the country to rebuild back better,” said Ms Maria Ribeiro, UN Resident Coordinator.

She said this in an interview on 17 June on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation featuring together with Dr. Agnes Mahomva, Chief Coordinator of COVID-19 Response in the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Nothing the increasing number of returning Zimbabweans and subsequent challenges in quarantine facilities, Dr. Mahomva said that with support from the UN, the national Task Force on COVID-19 has put in place an integrated guideline to improve care in quarantine facilities.

Highlighting some of the work being done by UN agencies, Ms. Ribeiro said that IOM was providing non-food item support to quarantine centres, WFP continues to expand its food assistance programme with food either cash or in-kind, WHO was supporting case management and weekly surveillance reports from 1,719 health facilities nationwide. In addition, UNICEF was supporting the continuation of health services, UN Women and UNFPA in the fight against an increasing gender-based violence and ensuring services on reproductive health rights. UNDP supported the procurement PPEs for health workers and has been leading the development of social and economic recovery framework.

Noting that there was neither a cure nor a vaccine yet for COVID-19, Ms. Ribeiro said the Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres together with heads of UN agencies is promoting for strong global solidarity to ensure that all countries have access to drugs, vaccines and all new technologies as soon as these become available.

Building back better: Imagine a world with new water, new energy, new food, new mind-sets

The COVID-19 pandemic should not distract us from attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Prof. Hubert Gijzen in his lecture to Zimbabwean youth organised under theSxoll Transformational Leadership Programme on 18 June 2020.

Prof. Gijzen said the COVID-19 pandemic shows the urgent need to implement the SDGs. Prof. Gijzen said, “We need new energy, new water, new food, new mind-sets and social transformation”. The Regional Director urged the youth to imagine the sustainable future they want and work towards it.
A sustainable future with green buildings, green economy, green cities, eco-cities and sustainable cities.

The UN Communication Group in Zimbabwe in partnership with theSpace, a youth SDGs advocacy team have been grooming young Zimbabweans on international development and leadership to galvanize their communities to strive for solutions to their development challenges.
Prof. Gijzen’s lecture was organized within this context and brought the youngsters up to speed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Goals as well as the Agenda 2063 of the African Union.