As the world marks a year of intense disruption by the COVID pandemic, many countries are facing the most difficult situations yet.
The approval of new vaccines and their roll out are offering hope, but work remains to be done to support countries during their ongoing pandemic responses.
Thanks to vital backing from many donors, WHO continues its work to provide assistance to countries all over the world. Here are some recent highlights.
WHO and EU support COVID-19 response and strengthening health systems in Asia
WHO and the European Union recently joined forces to support eight South East Asian countries in their response to COVID-19 and to strengthen preparedness for future pandemics.
The EU recently donated €20 million for a South East Asia pandemic response and preparedness programme. WHO will use the funds to continue supporting the governments of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
EU financial support helps to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives
The WHO office for the Maldives, with €1 million in financial support from the European Union, will help improve emergency response capacities in the Maldives to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
The support will focus on improving the management of COVID-19 cases through provision of medicines, supplies for intensive care unit facilities and more.
WHO and Singapore ensure migrants don’t get left behind
In the early stages of the pandemic in Singapore, most of the country’s recorded cases of COVID-19 were among migrant workers living in close quarters. WHO quickly issued interim guidance on actions for consideration in the care and protection of vulnerable population groups from COVID-19 which Singapore implemented. Raju Sarker from Bangladesh was one of those workers and was diagnosed with a severe case of COVID-19 while his wife was in the late stages of her pregnancy. Raju’s son was born while he was recovering in the hospital. His story touched Singaporeans, who donated diapers and toys to support his family and their first child.
WHO works with health and education sectors to ensure safe reopening of schools in Ethiopia
WHO is working closely with the Ministries and Bureaus of Health and Education to support interventions to make school reopening safe in Ethiopia. The WHO Ethiopia country office has supported the development and implementation of infection prevention and control guidelines and protocols to be used in schools to prevent the introduction and spread of the virus. The WHO Ethiopia country office continues to engage with the government to ensure the guidelines are adhered to at learning institutions.
Iran COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (ICERP) scales up response nationwide
WHO and the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran have delivered life-saving medical and diagnostic equipment to public hospitals and laboratories across the country to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The procurement is part of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (ICERP), a collaboration between WHO and the Ministry of Health and Medical funded at US $50 million in an effort to support the country’s health care system in diagnosing and treating patients with COVID-19.
WHO honours role of nurses in the fight against COVID-19 in Mexico and supports the pandemic response across the Americas
At an event to commemorate the crucial role nurses have played during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Mexico’s WHO Representative Cristian Morales honoured the historic role nurses have played fighting epidemics and pandemics. He highlighted their compassion and courage. This echoes previous words by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that nursing professionals are the backbone of any health system while today many of them are on the front line in the battle against COVID-19.
Also in the Americas a recent donation from Canada and WHO reached over 100 health facilities and benefited thousands of health professionals. WHO also worked to fulfil its mandate of maintaining essential health services by delivering equipment to strengthen care during the COVID-19 crisis to the National Cancer Institute in Paraguay.
The WHO Regional Office for the Americas was able to continue to support its countries’ pandemic response during this acute phase thanks to US$ 263 million it raised fromthe governments of Belize, Canada, Colombia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Commission. Other donors included multiple UN agencies and regional and international development banks, the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions, the Foundation Yamuni Tabush, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Rockefeller Foundation, and individuals who gave to the PAHO COVID-19 Response Fund as well as regional member states.
WHO supports European countries’ response to new virus variant
In Europe, WHO is advising countries on their response to a more infectious new variant of the COVID-19 virus through risk assessment, recommendations on virological studies, sequencing and vaccination as well as providing guidance on health measures and communicating risk. WHO is also helping to make sure no one gets left behind by working with partners to organize the first wave of vaccines outside of the European Union through the COVAX Facility.
Read more about WHO’s response to COVID-19** across the world.**
Without the support of donors and partners, WHO would not be able to reach these countries in need and help them make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO thanks **all governments, organizations and individuals **contributing to the COVID-19 response around the world, and in particular those who have provided fully flexible contributions, to ensure a comprehensive fight against the disease.
African Development Bank, Alwaleed Foundation, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bulgaria, CAF, Canada, Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), China, Côte d’Ivoire, COVID MPTF, COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Commission, Finland, France, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, Germany, GFATM, Pacific Health Officers’ Association, Guinea, Holy See, Iceland, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Japan, Ireland, Islamic Development Bank, Italy, King Baudouin Foundation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Novartis International AG, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Pacific Health Officers’ Association, Pandemic Tech, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Slovenia, Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tetra Pak Export FZE, Standard Chartered Bank, Thailand, United Kingdom, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNDP/UNOSS, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNFCU Foundation, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United States, Viet Nam, Vital Strategies/Resolve to Save Lives, World Bank, World Bank/PEF
Source: World Health Organization