UN, partners launch COVID-19 response plan to aid 5.4 mn poorest Filipinos

UN, humanitarian partners launch largest COVID-19 response plan to aid 5.4M poorest Filipinos (Source: @UNPhilippines)

New Delhi (NVI): The United Nations and partners have launched a humanitarian response plan against coronavirus pandemic that will benefit 5.4 million poor people in the Philippines.

According to UN statement, the P6-billion Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) COVID-19 Response Plan aims to provide critical health services to poor Filipinos.

The plan also prioritizes the safety and well-being of women and girls and will provide health, food security, water and sanitation, protection, and risk communication services to its beneficiaries, it added.

“The pandemic is challenging the capacity of response of any single country in the world”, UN resident coordinator, Gustavo Gonzalez said in a statement

“Our role is to make best use of our global knowledge and resources to join Government’s efforts to contribute to the safety and well-being of the Filipino people,” he added.

UN said this will be the largest international humanitarian response plan in the Philippines since 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda ravaged the country and claimed around 7,800 lives.

Around 50 UN and local and international non-government partners are involved in the plan, with a price tag of about P6 billion – USD 122 million, 23 per cent of the response plan has already been mobilized, the UN said.

The plan is being kicked off as the epicenter of Manila and surrounding provinces have returned to lockdown after eased quarantine measures saw a surge in cases.

Millions of people also remain out of jobs, while the already crippled economy face bleak forecasts, according to reports.

The response plan spans until the end of the year, but it will be updated according to needs as they arise throughout the deadly pandemic.

Furthermore, it is also a stepping stone to the UN’s mid and long-term support to COVID-19 recovery, which will be developed in the upcoming UN Socio-economic and Peacebuilding Framework.

“As we work together to support government efforts to contain the virus against the demand to restore the economy, the UN and humanitarian partners will continue to seize opportunities to build greater resiliency, equity and inclusivity, in short, to build forward better,” Gonzalez said.

However, the Philippines has been included in the humanitarian response plan, with a total of USD 10.3 billion, the largest in history, bringing together the response plans of 63 of the hardest hit and most vulnerable countries.