UNDP’s support to the COVID-19 response in BiH

Humanity needs leadership and
solidarity to defeat COVID-19

 

UNDP’s Integrated Response

The COVID-19 pandemic is a massive health crisis. It is also a humanitarian and development crisis that threatens to leave deep social, economic, and political scars in the years to come, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable countries. A global threat of this magnitude requires global solidarity to support the most vulnerable countries as they cope with this unfolding crisis.

Since begining of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as part of joint and coordinated response of the United Nations, actively supports domestic authorities and health institutions accross government levels in addressing the crisis. As part of its mission to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and build resilience to crisis and shocks and working at the heart of the United Nations family in close coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), the UNDP is supporting countries accross the globe prepare for, respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing particularly on the most vulnerable.

Infographic: Integrated Response to COVID (PDF)

UNDP is fully operational in 170 countries and territories and focused on COVID-19 response. We are mobilizing all our assets to respond to this unprecedented challenge. We have transitioned all critical operations to digital and virtual platforms, enabling our teams to continue delivering effectively despite restrictions on movement and physical interaction. We are streamlining policies and procedures for greater agility, increasing our flexibility to receive and deliver private sector and other financing, and taking steps to ensure our frontline staff are well supported and cared for as they help countries through this crisis.

As part of the UN joint efforts, in collaboration with the WHO and other international agencies and organizations, UNDP aims to strengthen the health system throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina by supporting procurement and delivery of the most needed medical equipment and supplies necessary for testing and treating persons infected with the Corona virus, and ensuring the conditions for safe and uninterrupted operation of medical staff and other competent services throughout the country. To achieve this, we established internal response team covering key areas of work in response to COVID-19 pandemic: support to medical procurement, coordination, economic impact assessment and support to social impact assessment. At the country level, coordination with Resident Coordinator's Office and other UN agencies is ensured trough the UN Crisis Management Team.

We work closely with governments and health institutions at all levels: state, entity, and cantonal, in order to gain accurate and comprehensive insights into actual medical needs and priorities, with the lead and expertise of the WHO. Existing capacities of health institutions and the needs of the most vulnerable and most at risk communities and populations will be taken into account, to ensure that no one is left behind.

We will support setting up a multisectoral whole-of-society approach to face the challenges beyond the health sector, to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate the potentially devastating impact it may have on vulnerable populations and economies.

COVID-19 - More Than a Health Crisis

This pandemic is a massive health crisis. COVID-19 has disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy. It is also a humanitarian and development crisis that threatens to leave deep social, economic, and political scars in the years to come, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable countries. A global recession – perhaps of record dimensions – is a near certainty.

UNDP is already working to understand the social, economic and political impacts of the crisis, and to find ways to mitigate them with sustainable, resilient and rights-based solutions crafted with the public and private sectors.

This leverages our capacity on innovation, digital solutions, social protection systems, response to increased gender-based violence, emergency job creation and economic restoration. Examples include scaling up digital solutions for health care, financing and other services, designing targeted social protection for marginalized groups, develop women’s economic empowerment strategies, and developing fiscal policy and SDG-aligned financing mechanisms with partner governments.

In response to the quickly evolving COVID-19 crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UN Country Team is supporting the authorities and country through assessments of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. A Task Force on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 is established, consistent with the guidelines outlined in WHO’s COVID-19 Partnership Platform. The Task Force, which is co-chaired by UNDP and UNICEF, will engage in all relevant streams of work e.g. social, economic, health-related and human rights.

Digital Transformation - an Emerging Opportunity

Digital transformation is already a reality in Europe and Central Asia, as UNDP and many governments have begun to transfer legal, social and civil service delivery online. UNDP is helping countries and businesses quickly leverage digital technologies and shift necessary services online, so that everyone can continue doing business despite the increasing need to isolate and limit exposure.

Accelerated digitalization can be expected to create new business models and opportunities for digital leapfrogging in traditional industries. UNDP is actively supporting Canton Sarajevo with digital solutions to help public authorities dealing with the crisis to have better data, improve monitoring and support decision-making. Same digital solutions, once piloted, may be replicated throughout the country.

Financial Contributions to Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Globally, a COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility has been launched, funded by existing resources and capitalized with an initial US$20 million. This facility will provide up to $250,000 per country for initial action, disbursed through a fast-track mechanism with approval within one week. UNDP intends to unlock additional resources by repurposing unspent programme funding, in consultation with host country governments and donors as appropriate.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNDP supports purchase of immediate medical goods and supplies with funding allocated by various international and domestic donors, authorities and partners, confirming their confidence in UNDP's role as a partner of choice for executing complex tasks at the time of crisis.

Government of Posavina Canton

200,000 BAM

Government of Sarajevo Canton / Institute for Health Insurance

4,500,000 BAM

Government of Central Bosnia Canton

500,000 BAM

Government of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton

33,619 BAM

Government of West Herzegovina Canton

75,000 BAM

Government of Zenica-Doboj Canton

919,000 BAM

City of Doboj

47,539 BAM

Public Health Institute of Republika Srpska

2,375,000 BAM

European Union (EU)

2,000,000 EUR

  SDC (Government of Switzerland)

200,000 USD

Government of Norway

7,500,000 NOK

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
488,000 USD
* table reflects signed cost-sharing agreements, updated on 22 June 2020
 

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After the Pandemic

The longer-term social and economic impact of this crisis will be profound. The International Monetary Fund expects a global recession more severe than the 2008 global financial crisis, with two-thirds of the economic dislocation from losses of business and consumer confidence and tightened financial markets rather than the pandemic itself. But by building back better, this dislocation also provides an opportunity to shift our planetary trajectory towards the 2030 Agenda and a climate resilient future.

After the pandemic is stopped, UNDP will focus on addressing the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 and on preserving sustainable development. It is of the utmost importance that the world plans for the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to learn the lessons that will help prevent and deal with future similar crises.

UNDP remains committed to supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina, as we have done in collaboration with numerous partners and donors during and after the 2014 floods. All our activities are planned and implemented in accordance with the priorities of the competent authorities in BiH and close cooperation with other UN agencies, international organizations and donors. 

We work in full alignment with the WHO through their COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and on medical procurement and coordination of needs from entities. UNDP will help BiH and other countries to respond quickly and effectively to COVID-19 as part of our mission to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and build resilience to crisis and shocks.

Tel: +387 (33) 293 400
Fax: +387 (33) 552 330
e-mail: registry.ba@undp.org

For media inquiries only:

Tel: +387 (33) 293 400 communications.ba@undp.org

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