UNCT Presents COVID-19 Socio-Economic Response Framework to Vice Prime Minister
On 18 February 2021, the UN Country Team, led by UN Resident Coordinator Ozonnia Ojielo, presented the COVID-19 Socio-Economic Response Framework (SERF) to Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Artem Novikov and representatives of the government ministries.
In his opening remarks, UNRC Ozonnia Ojielo gave a brief overview of how the UN supports the national development agenda through its five-year UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAF). The current UNDAF was signed with the Government in 2017 for the period of 2018 and 2022, covering four thematic areas, and seeks to demonstrate how the UN System can support the Government in realizing the national development strategies through a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that no one in the Kyrgyz Republic is left behind. The UN committed in 2017 that by the end of 2021 it would try to mobilize 221.1 million USD as the UN contribution to the development in the Kyrgyz Republic.
UNRC informed about the ongoing consultations with the line ministries on UNDAF Joint Work Plans (JWPs) for 2021 and 2022 and said he looks forward to having a meeting of the UNDAF Steering Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister and him, in March 2021 to present the results of the collective achievements in 2020 and the 2021-2022 JWPs.
UNRC shared the key results of the collective efforts in responding to COVID-19 in 2020, through the Disaster Response Coordination Unit (DRCU), chaired by the Minister of Emergency Situations and UNRC.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was much more than a health crisis. It was a development crisis which cast a dark shadow on the future of the society. From the outset of the pandemic, at the request of the Government, we mobilized the entire UN system and international development community first on the health response, because of the live saving humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable and subsequently in terms of COVID-19 response through our DRCU,” UNRC stated.
DRCU was established in 2008 as a vehicle for the international humanitarian actors to respond to disasters. Members of the DRCU developed a plan of action on early recovery, health, education, food security and logistics, protection, water, sanitation hygiene and non-food items. DRCU mobilized about 75 million USD for the support to national institutions in the immediate COVID-19 response. The phase of humanitarian response to COVID-19 pandemic under DRCU coordination and response had been completed, and the DRCU would continue activities according to its core mandate and role: emergency preparedness and response.
UNRC Ozonnia Ojielo shared the key results of DRCU work in 2020 (Please read the DRCU Annual Report):
- 6,382 staff of the Ministry of Health and healthcare workers have been equipped with knowledge on various aspects of the COVID-19 response;
- 964,858 items of essential equipment, PPE and other supplies have been procured and distributed among the healthcare facilities and vulnerable groups;
- 4600 mt food assistance provided to 260,000 vulnerable people;
- 100 mt of seeds, 218 mt of fertilizers, gasoline and wheat flour distributed to farmers;
- 216,697 of pre-school children, 1,180,330 of primary and secondary school children, 26,716 of primary vocational school students, 82,378 of secondary vocational school students, 165,400 of higher educational institution students continued to learn via remote learning tools;
- 250 teachers and local trainers of all educational levels built their capacity for providing and monitoring remote learning;
- 11,916 of most vulnerable children, including children with disabilities, received psychological and pedagogical support during quarantine and/or remote learning;
- 400 people per day have been receiving consultations by the 153 staff of hotlines 111 and 112 during April-November, 320 people received the consultation from the crisis centres;
- 9000 dignity-hygiene kits were provided to observation points and vulnerable people (such as elderly people, persons with disabilities, migrants);
- 4000 children with disabilities received psycho-social support;
- 360 social pedagogues increased capacity in addressing children’s concerns, building knowledge of children’s rights and promotion of Helpline 111;
- 182 representatives (including 173 women) of administrations and departments of family and child support from Bishkek, Chuy and Osh oblasts increased capacity on gender equality and GBV prevention;
- 197,645 vulnerable people have been equipped with hygiene equipment and materials;
- Water and hygiene facilities were rehabilitated at 396 schools;
- Emergency cash transfers were made available to 1,000 vulnerable populations;
- 32 COVID-designated hospitals and 10 mobile units are being supported for health waste management;
- 2,480 of infrared non-contact thermometers, 3 million pairs of plastic and nitrile gloves, 123,920 of N95 masks, 1 million single-use face masks, 5,000 PPEs, 6,400 alcohol wipes, and 4,500 items of cleaning water were provided during the elections process;
- 350 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were trained on prevention of using hate speech during the elections;
- 964 people, including 588 women, and 23 persons with disabilities received on-line free legal consultations during May- October 2020 in Kyrgyz and Russian languages on civil rights, family law, labour, housing, social protection, criminal and administrative law, domestic violence, tax law, emergency and/or state of emergency issues and others;
UNRC Ozonnia Ojielo briefed that the UN Country Team has developed country-tailored COVID-19 Socio-Economic Response Framework (SERF) that represents an integrated support package that the UN system can leverage to protect the needs and rights of people impacted by the pandemic, with particular focus on people at the risk of being left behind. The SERF is guided by the UN framework for immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19 that was launched by UN Secretary-General in April 2020.
“Long-term transformative recovery process that leads to a better post-COVID-19 world by addressing underlying fragilities and identifying opportunities for transformative change towards more equal and resilient societies and economies is another overarching component of UN support. We all understand that emerging from the crisis is another opportunity, instead of going back to unsustainable systems and approaches, to build forward better and address global threats of climate change, inequalities, exclusion, gaps in social protections systems and many other injustices that have been exposed and exacerbated,” Ozonnia Ojielo stated.
The COVID-19 framework fits an overall UN programmatic response in the Country and is an integral part of the current UNDAF 2018-22 that is now being translated into the Joint Work Plans for 2021-22. Initial consultations on the Framework took place with state partners on 24th August 2020 on greater alignment of the Framework with the national priorities. The UN-ADB Socioeconomic and Vulnerability Impact Assessment and Policy Response laid an analytical foundation for the Framework. The total estimation of the Framework response is around 105 mln. USD, and while approximately 50% of that budget has already been secured by repurposing current programmes and mobilising new funding through UN global windows and international development partners, additional funds are yet to be mobilized.
Following the presentation of each five pillar of the SERF – Health First, Protecting People, Economic Response and Recovery, Macroeconomic Response and Multilateral Collaboration, Social Cohesion and Community Resilience, the UN Country Team and the Vice Prime Minister agreed to have a technical level discussion in March 2021 to translate ideas into specific activities in the UNDAF JWPs in line with the government priorities for the COVID-19 response and recovery.