UNDP supports conflict-affected communities in COVID-19 response

Assistance provided to internally displaced persons and local healthcare facilities

As part of a broader effort to protect vulnerable groups from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is assisting conflict-affected communities. This work includes helping internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in collective centres and providing medical supplies and protective equipment to local healthcare facilities.

This assistance draws on USD 270,000 in funding from the UNDP’s global Rapid Response Facility, which was launched in the first days of the COVID-19 outbreak to help countries address emergency needs, strengthen crisis management and mitigate the socio-economic impact of lockdowns and border closures.

As part of this effort, UNDP Head Louisa Vinton delivered 300 liters of disinfectant, 300 liters of hand sanitizer, 4,000 surgical masks and 1,200 medical gowns to Shida Kartli Governor Giorgi Khojevanishvili on 26 June 2020. The supplies will be distributed to healthcare facilities located along the conflict divide.

Vinton also delivered hygienic and sanitary supplies to a collective centre for IDPs in Gori, a residential care home for the elderly in the village of Khurvaleti and a community clinic in the village of Nikozi. Vinton visited these facilities together with the Head of the Charity Humanitarian Centre “Abkhazeti” (CHCA) Nukri Milorava. Food parcels were also distributed to IDP households with strained financial resources.

“In seeking to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19, we are seeing that the challenges they face require a longer-term approach extending beyond the immediate pandemic threat,” said Vinton. “IDP families living in collective centers face a high risk of social exclusion and marginalization, and UNDP is committed to working with our national partners in the quest for more humane and equitable solutions.”

With UNDP funding, CHCA is providing support to 4,000 vulnerable IDPs living in 100 collective centres. This support includes regular disinfection of the premises; provision of information on how to prevent COVID-19; and distribution of food parcels, cleaning supplies and protective equipment to residents. In addition, CHCA is organizing home care for frail elderly residents who need personalized services.

UNDP and CHCA organized a similar visit to Zugdidi on 25 May 2020 to distribute supplies at the “Vector” collective center for IDPs. This visit included a stop at Rukhi Hospital, where UNDP delivered pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, hand sanitizer and other medical supplies. Rukhi Hospital is a designated COVID-19 treatment facility that was opened earlier this year adjacent to the conflict divide. Vinton visited the facility together with Nino Vibliani, Deputy Governor of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region.

Assistance to conflict-affected communities is part of UNDP’s wider response to the pandemic which aims to help societies prepare for, respond to and recover from the crisis, drawing on UNDP’s experience in eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and building resilience to crises and shocks.

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