Support enabled by the Facility includes the purchase of essential medicines for patients, personal protective gear for healthcare workers, testing supplies, and local initiatives that aim to raise awareness and engage communities on the risk of COVID-19.
A month since the Facility’s launch, 83 countries have benefited, amounting to USD23.3 million in committed resources. Funding for support via the Facility comes from repurposed core resources, as well as funding provided by donors to UNDP’s crisis-response Funding Window.
UNDP Bolivia receives equipment that increases the number of COVID-19 tests that can be performed daily from 180 daily tests, to approximately 500. Equipment arranged and provided by UNDP and The Global Fund. Left to right: Jeanine Añez, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia; Luciana Mermet, UNDP RR, Bolivia; Dr. Percy Calderón, Health Advisor UNDP Bolivia health programme. Photo: UNDP Bolivia/Nabilia Rivero
In keeping with the One UN approach, all funding requests must align with the programmes and initiatives of the other UN agencies in the country under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator and, most critically, with the priorities of the government concerned.
“The Rapid Response Facility is helping to fast-track life-saving efforts on the ground and roll-out socio-economic response & recovery strategies -- from the procurement of critical protective equipment and medical supplies to the application of digital solutions such as e-health and e-government platforms to ensure business continuity,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.
“As part of the UN System response to COVID-19, UNDP, through the re-programming of its portfolio and additional funding, expects to deploy up to USD500 million of rapid financing and support to more than 100 countries to prepare, respond and recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19”.
UNDP’s overall support on COVID-19 includes three key elements: resources to help prepare for and help stop the spread of the virus, support to respond during the outbreak itself, and resources to cushion against the hardest economic losses and social disruption and help countries recover from the long-term impacts.
This seed money provided by the RRF is helping keep core functions in government operating, and funds are being used in 20 countries – including Bhutan, Cote d’Ivoire and Yemen – to provide digital and ICT solutions to allow governments to work remotely during the COVID crisis. Other innovations include using satellite imagery for response planning in Moldova, the systemic sanitization of small business supply chains in Colombia and widespread support of informal enterprises in many countries switching their production to personal protective equipment (PPE).
UNDP’s work draws on its experience in delivering large-scale health programmes for the Global Fund and partners in more than 50 countries. For example, from 2014 to 2017, UNDP provided health procurement and supply-chain strengthening services in more than 30 countries with USD1 billion in agreements, while generating savings of USD65 million in the procurement of HIV medicines alone./.