OHRLLS Response to COVID-19

South Sudanese refugees practice social distancing

Photo: South Sudanese refugees practice social distancing as they wait to access a food distribution at Kakuma campOCHA

OHRLLS has launched the most vulnerable 91 dashboard, tracking international support to the most vulnerable states through this crisis. This tool shows the clear gaps between how richer countries are able to respond – many by spending thousands of dollars per capita – and those with fewer resources. 

The dashboard shows that, in some cases, the most vulnerable countries have received less than a dollar per person to tackle the greatest crisis in a generation. 

Since the start of the pandemic, OHRLLS has been supporting these most vulnerable states to ensure these needs are heard at the highest levels.   

The High Representative, Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, has led a series of dialogues between LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS and key partners on the means to support vulnerable country groups in mitigating the fallout of the pandemic.   

These virtual meetings have involved development partners, international financial institutions, the United Nations and civil society.   

In our role as a convenor, we have brought together these countries and helped them speak as one, and to be heard at the highest levels.  

We have also focused on building support from the international community to address this crisis and continued to advocate for strong international commitments of financial, technical and technological support for LDCs, LLDCS and SIDS.   

statement by the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, stresses that to avoid a truly devastating global tragedy, it is critical that the international community urgently support vulnerable countries to strengthen their health systems and their capacity to halt transmission. 

In an ever more interconnected world, we are only as strong as our weakest health system.   

Least Developed Countries

Due to COVID-19, LDCs are facing both a health crisis and significant economic slow-down. These multi-faceted shocks limit fiscal space to respond to the pandemic.

Landlocked Developing Countries

The number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 are rising in LLDCs. European and Central Asian LLDCs are the most impacted in terms of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Small Island Developing States

SIDS are highly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 both to the potentially devastating impacts on human health and to the broader social and economic effects of the virus and containment policies.

COVID-19: The Most Vulnerable 91


COVID-19 is impacting the world’s Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States in unprecedented,  profound and disproportionate ways.  

But these countries, often unable to afford comprehensive response plans, are not being supported sufficiently by the international community.