Pacific: UN and Partners Launch the Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan
The United Nations, International Federation of the Red Cross and Crescent, Government representatives, International Finance Institutes, Non-Government Organisations and development actors that comprise the Pacific Humanitarian Team came together on Thursday 7 May to launch the Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan - a comprehensive regional response plan that consolidates efforts from UN and non-UN entities in the fight against the pandemic through an effective humanitarian response that strengthens healthcare systems, reinforces community engagement and protects the most vulnerable, especially women and children, older people, and those with disabilities or chronic illness.
Funding requirements of the Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan are estimated at US$ 35 million to provide assistance in education, emergency telecommunications, food security, nutrition, logistics, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene. The plan focuses on preparedness and response actions to complement the health needs already identified by Pacific Island Countries, but also importantly, it addresses many other challenging questions that Governments and vulnerable communities are having to contend with every day. This includes the delicate task of securing critical supply chains to ensure important provisions can still enter countries in the midst of international border closures – an initiative that supports the work of the recently established Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19, initiated by the Pacific Islands Forum.
The Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan highlights current priority areas of support based on concerns raised by Pacific Island Governments and affected communities. With funding requirements of the plan estimated at over U.S. $35 million, U.S. $19 million remains to be funded. The UN is urging the international community and governments to commit to fully supporting this response plan, without diverting funding from existing humanitarian appeals. Additionally, it recommends that funding should be allocated as directly as possible to local and national actors whenever they are best placed to respond.