The United Nations (UN) says UNICEF is buying medical supplies and equipment as part of the UN’s efforts to fight COVID-19 in Malawi.
United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malawi Ms. Maria Jose Torres said this in a statement on Saturday detailing the her organisations actions in the fight against coronavirus.
She said the UN is providing decisive and coordinated support to Government’s efforts, together with development partners and non-government organizations, to strengthen the ability of Malawian institutions to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and ensure that no one is left behind.
“UNICEF has focused on buying medical supplies and equipment, as well as improving the water and sanitation infrastructure, to support the ability of Government and the humanitarian community to respond,” said Torres.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango on Saturday also confirmed saying UNICEF is procuring Personal Protective Equipment for all health care workers and 5000 test kits.
On other actions by UN agencies, Torres said technical advice provided by WHO (World Health Organisation) has been critical to the design of Malawi’s national COVID-19 health sector plan, including establishing laboratory testing capacity and training public health specialists,” said Torres.
She added that the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation are seeking to ensure that food and necessary supplies are available and can reach even those most in need.
UN agencies are also helping prevent major economic and social setbacks due to the pandemic by expanding temporary cash transfers and initiating measures to help protect jobs, businesses and incomes.
“Protection of the most vulnerable population groups and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, remain central to the work of UN Women, UNICEF, UNAIDS, ILO, IOM, UNHCR, and UNFPA. This includes support to refugees in camps, migrants at the borders, persons living with HIV/AIDS, persons living with disabilities, persons with albinism, single-headed households, the elderly, and those living in extreme poverty,” said Torres.
She then called on everyone in Malawi to work together to ensure that the crisis does not become a human tragedy.
Malawi has four confirmed cases of the coronavirus, a pandemic which has hit over 200 countries across the world with more than 1.2 million cases and over 64,000 deaths.