Launch of the German funded WFP resilience and crisis response programme in Zambia

The UN is committed to working with the Government of Zambia and partners to equip vulnerable people with the right tools to face shocks when they occur.

Launch of the German funded WFP resilience and crisis response programme in Zambia

 

Talking points for Dr Coumba Mar Gadio United Nations Resident Coordinator, Zambia

 

I wish to thank Her Honour The Vice President Madam Inonge Wina for convening and hosting this launch. This shows commitment by the Government of the Republic of Zambia towards addressing climate-induced risks and promoting food security resilience in the country.

I am honoured to join this virtual launch of the resilience programme, aimed at supporting the recovery of over 104,000 smallholder farmers in Kalomo,

Gwembe, Monze, Sioma and Shang’ombo districts affected by the 2018/19 drought, as well as their ability to better withstand future shocks.

 

The UN is committed to working with the Government of Zambia and partners to equip vulnerable people with the right tools to face shocks when they occur, so that they avoid slipping into food insecurity again.

Let me thank Germany, through the Ambassador and colleagues in the German Embassy for recognizing the need to focus on both humanitarian and development needs. Since Zambia is prone to reoccurring climate disasters, it is important to invest in resilience and recovery to bridge the gap between helping people to survive crises and supporting them to get back on track. The contribution will allow WFP to do just this.

The contribution from German comes at an opportune time when needs have been further impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The virus is spreading human suffering, destabilizing the global economy and upsetting the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people in Zambia.

Let me reaffirm the United Nation’s commitment towards supporting the Government in the fight against COVID-19. On 15 May, the UN-Joint COVID-19 Emergency Appeal was launched, valued at US$ 133 million, to support and complement government efforts in responding to the crisis.

Let me thank Germany for contributing US$ 192 million towards the COIVD-19 crisis in Zambia to support government efforts to mitigate the impacts and ensure continued basic services and lifesaving support.

I wish to also thank Germany for unwavering support across various sectors in Zambia. The UN will continue working with partners to support government efforts to assist vulnerable people affected by shocks in the country.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the United Nations supported humanitarian efforts during the recent drought that Zambia experienced and helped, with support from OCHA, helped to set up emergency coordination structures, assessing the needs jointly with the Government and development partners, highlighting humanitarian needs/gaps through the humanitarian Response Plan and supporting resilience through specialised UN agencies.

As part of the COVID-19 response, the UN supported the Government to quickly develop a multisectoral response plan to COVID-19 which goes beyond health response to include the socioeconomic aspects of the epidemic.

The United Nations in Zambia is providing support to Zambia’s multisectoral response to coronavirus by working to mobilize immediate funding of USD133 million as part of the recently launched the UN COVID-19 Emergency Appeal to assist 6.2 million vulnerable people in the country until October 2020. So far, we have mobilised over 15 per cent of the required funding.

In the UN’s continued effort to support the Government of the Republic Zambia, the UN agencies have repurposed funds to support the response by providing critical laboratory supplies and personal protective equipment to the Government, supported training of technical staff, supported surveillance and

 

disease detection, the running of two national call centers through hiring of 24 call centre staff and development and adaptation of guidelines, SOPs, procedures and protocols. We have also provided support in printing over 200,000 posters and other awareness creation materials, supported water and sanitation and hygiene in health facilities and refugee settlements with 14,697 refugees benefitting from soap and other hygiene supplies such as granular chlorine and menstrual kits.

 

With respect to the UN socioeconomic framework, under the technical lead of the United Nations Development Programme, we have worked to align the socio-economic components of the UN Emergency Appeal, which not only comprises the health and humanitarian dimensions but also short-term socio- economic mitigation aspects.

 

Furthermore, the UN in Zambia is assessing the impact of the virus on food security in the country, while providing food assistance to 622,000 people in drought-affected areas, enhanced small holder farmers’ resilience and provided supply chain support to deliver food assistance to the Government.

 

To ensure that no one is left behind, the UN supported with the construction of a shelter to serve as a safe space for GBV and Human Trafficking survivors. It is also supporting the continuity of sexual and reproductive health services and interventions, especially to ensure that women continue to visit the health facilities for ante-natal and delivery services. We have trained 42 health personnel in three refugee settlements on case management and Infection Prevention & Control, distributed 23 infrared thermometers for use in thermo- scanning at entrances to refugee settlements as well as in health facilities, distributed soap and hand basins and distributed as well as printed 1,700 posters.

 

We have provided Maternity Clinic Medical Equipment valued at over USD 37,000 to help address Sexual and Reproductive Health challenges faced by incarcerated pregnant women and mobilised 5,000 hygiene packs for people living with HIV to mitigate COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the UN has adapted a Rapid Assessment tool to conduct a needs assessment of people living with HIV and migrants during the pandemic and supported the development of the Correctional Services COVID-19 Contingency

Plan for prison settings which includes strategies on decongesting prisons and provision of personal protective equipment to correctional service staff and adequate provision of HIV related services to inmates living with HIV in prison settings.

The UN has further supported the government to set up an e-learning platform that allows children and young people to continue learning during the forced closure of schools.

As I close, let me thank the German Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Achim Burkat for all the work that he has done during his tenure in Zambia and supporting the UN development and humanitarian efforts. I wish him all the best on his next assignment.

 

 

 

I thank You.

Speech by
Author
Coumba Mar Gadio
Resident Coordinator
RCO
Coumba Mar Gadio, PhD
UN entities involved in this initiative
UN
United Nations