For more than 40 years, Argentina has supplied peacekeeping forces to different United Nations missions. These forces deploy as part of the Argentine Center for Joint Training for Peace Operations (CAECOPAZ) where over 200 personnel recently assumed duties in Cyprus. Operating during COVID-19 has presented new challenges: adopting new safety measures to limit infections plus new responsibilities to protect people at home before deploying overseas.
Samaneh Shabani, born blind, did not let her disability stop her from completing a PhD at the University of Tehran and volunteering at the human rights NGO Tavana. She balanced an internship at UN Information Centre Tehran with daily life during COVID-19 where she helped the UNIC organize events and share trustworthy public health information. She continues to advocate for the rights of people living with disabilities.
This updated UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 report provides an overview of the data, analysis, policy recommendations and concrete support that the UN has made available to states and communities to cope with the health, socio-economic, humanitarian and human rights impacts of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created great risks not just to public health but also to the social-economic well being of citizens. Fernando and Jéssica, whose names have been changed to protect their privacy, are benefiting from a UNICEF programme designed to protect some of the most vulnerable during this time. They were both convicted of crimes as teenagers but were receiving vocational development instead of incarceration before the pandemic.
Carlos Manuel Gonzalez, 14, mobilized his Scouts group to make face shields when he found that a member of the group, a nurse, had concerns about protective equipment supplies at their local hospital. His project led to a donation of 10,000 face shields.
What do a baby elephant made of recycled car parts, pictures of students in front of their computers and a fence full of gift-bags have in common? Although very different things, they have all become important symbols of the COVID-19 lockdown in Austria. The Vienna Technical Musuem is currently exhibiting these objects and many more to show their diverse impact on society.
Like many countries around the world, Sri Lanka has faced a disruptive COVID-19 lockdown accompanied by a socio-economic fallout. Despite these challenges, many of its citizens have dedicated themselves to protecting their communities and ensuring the stability of the healthcare system, food supply and greater economy.
Tourism is one of the world’s most important economic sectors. It employs one in every ten people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more. It boosts economies and enables countries to thrive. It allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity. That is why it has been so painful to see how tourism has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since Argentina’s government imposed a nation-wide quarantine to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 March, uncertainty and apprehension have seemed just as infectious as the virus. To counter that, UN Argentina began highlighting stories about everyday acts of kindness. From small gestures to big projects, ordinary people are making a lasting difference in the lives of those around them.
Every day since the beginning of the pandemic, Rafael “Rafa” Sanz, a driver for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Roraima, Brazil, follows a careful routine when arriving home. He takes off his shoes. He undresses and showers in an improvised stall in the backyard of his house. After spending the day helping protect migrants and refugees from COVID-19, he must be diligent to protect his family at home where his son is in declining health.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Olivier De Schutter, began his three-year mandate in May 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
Gislene Pereira, 51, is a dressmaker who lives in the outskirts of Brasília. Until COVID-19 struck, she used to make custom shirts for celebrations like birthday parties and uniforms for companies and churches. “All the orders I had were canceled. My whole production was shut down”, she said.
Education is the key to personal development and the future of societies. It unlocks opportunities and narrows inequalities. It is the bedrock of informed, tolerant societies, and a primary driver of sustainable development. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education ever.
As in other parts of the world, the health, economic and political impact of COVID-19 has been significant across Southeast Asia — hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. The pandemic has highlighted deep inequalities, shortfalls in governance and the imperative for a sustainable development pathway.
Urban areas are ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 90 per cent of reported cases. Cities are bearing the brunt of the crisis – many with strained health systems, inadequate water and sanitation services, and other challenges. This is especially the case in poorer areas, where the pandemic has exposed deeply rooted inequalities. But cities are also home to extraordinary solidarity and resilience.