The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
COVID-19: Stay up-to-date with the latest on UNOPS support to response efforts
The impacts of this rapidly evolving health pandemic are now being felt in every corner of the world. UNOPS is working closely with the UN family, governments and other partners to support mitigation and response efforts.
This page will be updated regularly to reflect new developments during this crisis.
COVID-19 poses serious challenges to the capacity of health systems around the world. Medical personnel are under pressure. Supplies and equipment are in urgent demand. And in many instances, temporary health infrastructure is needed to cope with the influx of patients requiring specialized treatment.
Below is a summary of the work UNOPS is currently engaged in to help partners address immediate needs and respond to the longer-term impacts of COVID-19.
UNOPS stands ready to assist our partners to respond swiftly and effectively to this rapidly evolving health pandemic.”
Number of COVID-19 response updates to date: 50
19 May 2020 - Palau: Funded by the India-UN Development Partnership Fund through the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), UNOPS is supporting the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 response efforts by procuring powered air-purifying respirators, as well as a heavy duty vehicle for transporting medical waste. The initiative is part of an ongoing health project, implemented by UNOPS, that aims to increase quality, availability and access to healthcare in the country – including through the rehabilitation of six community health centres.
14 May 2020 - Ukraine: In response to the critical needs of the healthcare facilities of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, UNOPS with funding from the government of Canada has procured and delivered seven artificial lung ventilation systems for the main military clinical hospital in Kyiv.
14 May 2020 – Myanmar: The UNOPS-managed Access to Health Fund – funded by the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and Switzerland – is providing at least 50,000 coveralls to Myanmar's Ministry of Health and Sports and ethnic health providers to protect frontline healthcare workers. Last month, it provided more than 150,000 surgical gloves and more than 500,000 surgical masks to the Ministry of Health and Sports.
Expand the regions below for a full list of updates
- 21 April 2020 – Multiple countries: UNOPS is working with the Universal Postal Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations, to procure and distribute personal protective equipment for postal workers in least developed countries. Postal workers are critical to supply chain networks during this pandemic, but can be highly exposed. The first phase of the response will deliver masks, gloves and sanitizer to the national postal services of 37 countries.
- 7 April 2020 – Multiple countries: UNOPS has been asked to provide distribution services for the rapid and safe delivery of favipiravir, known commercially as Avigan, for clinical trials in countries which request supplies from Japan. The government of Japan is providing $1 million in funding. UNOPS support to procure and transport favipiravir does not in any way imply any endorsement of favipiravir as a treatment. Read more.
- 12 May 2020 – Kenya: UNOPS provided logistical support for UNICEF and the Ministry of Health to provide training for 420 healthcare workers across 14 counties. To help build COVID-19 response capacity, UNOPS arranged the transport of workers to the training site, the payment of allowances and fuel reimbursement.
- 5 May 2020 - Tunisia: With funding from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and in partnership with the National Office for Family and Population, UNOPS is procuring personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer and COVID-19 testing kits for the Ministry of Health's Department of Primary Health Care.
- 30 April 2020 - Tunisia: UNOPS has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the Ministry of Health with preventing the spread of COVID-19. UNOPS and WHO will create and equip up to six isolation centres in hotels identified through the project, as well as procure the necessary personal protective equipment. The centres will allow up to 1,700 people who test positive for COVID-19 – but who do not require hospitalization – to quarantine.
- 29 April 2020 – Liberia: To directly support the government of Liberia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNOPS has partnered with the World Bank to procure and deliver 15 ambulances for the country’s Ministry of Health.
- 29 April 2020 – South Sudan: Using a $40 million grant from the World Bank's International Development Association, UNOPS is supporting the government of South Sudan with implementing the South Sudan Safety Net Project. The project will provide income security to those most vulnerable – including people with disabilities, the elderly and pregnant or breastfeeding women. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first phase of the project will focus on providing rapid cash transfers to vulnerable people in Juba. Read more.
- 27 April 2020 – Ghana: The Ghana Health Service has requested UNOPS to help procure motorcycles and bicycles for selected districts to support its COVID-19 response. The initiative is part of a broader project funded by the World Bank that will provide maternal, child health and nutrition services to communities across all regions of the country.
- 22 April 2020 – Tunisia: Through the Justice Reform Support Programme (PARJ) funded by the European Union, UNOPS facilitated the purchase and delivery of paramedical and protective equipment for the Ministry of Justice's General Committee on Prisons and Rehabilitation. This will support the government with preventing the spread of COVID-19. It will also ensure that all prisoners can access health services, in accordance with the Nelson Mandela Rules.
- 14 April 2020 – Togo: Through the World Bank’s Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) Project in West Africa, the government of Togo requested that UNOPS procure three medicalized ambulances as part of the country’s COVID-19 Action Plan. The ambulances will help to strengthen the country's medical capacities.
- 9 April 2020 – Ghana: UNOPS has launched a private-public partnership with Stanbic Bank Ghana to procure 5,000 COVID-19 test kits to be donated to the Ghana Health Service. This will help the country strengthen its testing capacity to tackle the disease. The swift delivery of the test kits – expected on 1 May 2020 – will help Ghana respond effectively to the pandemic.
- 7 April 2020 – Somalia: UNOPS is working with a range of UN and government partners to support response efforts in the country. Among others, we are supporting the United Nations Population Fund with the procurement of essential medical equipment for Banadir Hospital to strengthen the provision of health care of people in need of hospitalization during this COVID-19 pandemic.
- 3 April 2020 – Ethiopia: UNOPS is working with the government of Ethiopia to procure over $420,000 worth of laboratory equipment and supplies to help strengthen medical capacity and test more people for COVID-19.
- 10 May 2020 – Myanmar: The World Food Programme has begun weekly humanitarian flights from Malaysia to Myanmar. The first flight brought in 10,000 COVID-19 test kits procured by UNICEF. The European Union’s Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus Response Mechanism – which is managed by UNOPS – and Switzerland funded the first phase of the humanitarian flight service.
- 9 May 2020 – the Philippines: The Governance in Justice programme – funded by the European Union and implemented by UNOPS – is providing test kits, disinfecting agents and personal protective equipment to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in jails. The programme is also providing multimedia tablets to enable inmates to participate in court hearings and communicate with their families and lawyers through online video calls.
- 1 May 2020 - Indonesia: Through a broader partnership with the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), UNOPS is supporting peat care villages in several priority provinces with the production of cloth face masks. UNOPS procured and distributed the materials needed, including fabric and yarn, and supported the process to ship the items to villages across six provinces. Production of the masks is being carried out by women’s groups, local purun weavers and individual households.
- 24 April 2020 – Maldives: With over $6.5 million in funding from the World Bank, UNOPS is supporting the government of Maldives' COVID-19 response efforts through the emergency procurement of medical equipment and supplies. This includes personal protective equipment, intensive care unit equipment and laboratory equipment.
- 24 April 2020 – Bangladesh: UNOPS is the fund manager for the Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness and Response Programme funded by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development. Through the programme, £4.4 million has been approved for implementing partners to use for COVID-19 response efforts. This includes procuring personal protective equipment, medicine and medical supplies for COVID-19 testing, and training 200,000 people to provide information on COVID-19 to 5 million households. In Cox's Bazar – host to more than 850,000 Rohingya refugees – implementing partners are also procuring medical supplies and equipment needed for COVID-19 testing and establishing temporary treatment and isolation centres.
- 15 April 2020 – Myanmar: The European Union (EU) has created a €5 million emergency fund to help garment workers who have lost their jobs due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is financed through the EU’s Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus Response Mechanism, which is managed by UNOPS.
- 14 April 2020 – Myanmar: The UNOPS-managed Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT) announced additional funding of $15.8 million to support Myanmar’s COVID-19 preparedness and response. LIFT’s implementing partners will use the funds to support the country's most vulnerable: migrants, the elderly, internally displaced people, pregnant women and those with children under the age of two.
- 7 April 2020 – Myanmar: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is supporting Myanmar's COVID-19 response with the procurement of more than $6 million worth of medical equipment and supplies, including more than $700,000 worth of hand sanitizer. UNOPS, as the Principal Recipient for the Global Fund in Myanmar, is implementing this initiative.
- 2 April 2020 – Myanmar: The UNOPS-managed Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT) partner Eden is working with the organization New Hope to produce soap, masks and hand sanitizer to distribute to vulnerable communities at risk for COVID-19. They aim to reach up to 40,000 people. LIFT approved $20,000 in funding for the initiative.
- 2 April 2020 – Myanmar: UNOPS implemented the construction and equipping of 33 health centres in 4 townships. To free up space and capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports has moved the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria sections of the Myawaddy District Hospital and Kawkareik District Hospital to these health centres.
- 1 April 2020 – Myanmar: The UNOPS-managed Access to Health Fund is supporting the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports and others with purchasing personal protective equipment (including 50,000 coveralls). It is also supporting the prevention and control activities of the Ministry of Health and Sports, ethnic health providers and implementing partners, which includes entry point surveillance, awareness-raising, outbreak management training, and water, sanitation and hygiene activities. Partners are also supporting high-risk populations in prisons, remote and conflict-affected areas, and internally displaced person camps.
- 1 April 2020 – Myanmar: The United Nations in Myanmar is in the process of purchasing 50,000 COVID-19 testing kits for the country’s National Health Laboratory. This number reflects the combined support of UNOPS, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNOPS-managed Access to Health Fund – funded by the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and Switzerland – is helping to procure equipment needed to conduct 20,000 COVID-19 tests, as well as an automated extractor, laboratory freezer, viral transport medium tubes, equipment for sample preparation and reagents.
- 17 February 2020 – Afghanistan: UNOPS is working with the World Health Organization to raise awareness and provide information on COVID-19 through Awaaz Afghanistan – the country’s nationwide inter-agency humanitarian call centre. The centre, managed by UNOPS, offers a single point of contact for all Afghans – including returnees and those affected by conflict and natural disasters. In February Awaaz received 144 calls from 22 provinces with callers enquiring about COVID-19. From 1-14 March, Awaaz registered 185 enquiries around COVID-19 from 28 different provinces.
- 7 May 2020 – Serbia: With funding from the European Union, UNOPS has delivered 100 stationary oxygen concentrators, which will help reduce COVID-19 mortality associated with low levels of oxygen in the blood. With funding from the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway, we have procured and delivered 40 out of 100 intensive care monitors, with the remaining 60 expected soon.
- 7 May 2020 – North Macedonia: In support of the European Union’s assistance to the government’s COVID-19 response, UNOPS delivered 8,800 units of urgent medical supplies to an infectious disease clinic to help treat COVID-19 cases. These include pump systems, catheter sets, extension and infusion lines and syringes. We also delivered 12 mechanical ventilators and 5,000 protective masks to the Ministry of Health.
- 24 April 2020 – Serbia: With €4.9 million in funding from the European Union, UNOPS has delivered 800,000 protective masks for medical workers. Thirty-two out of 100 containers designed for the triage of people potentially infected with COVID-19 have been delivered to healthcare institutions located in Serbia's capital city, Belgrade, and several municipalities in the south of the country. The distribution of the remaining 68 containers along with the delivery of medical equipment and furniture will be completed soon. Further, 300 infra-red contactless thermometers have also been delivered to health centres across the country.
- 6 April 2020 – North Macedonia: With 4 million Euros in funding from the European Union, UNOPS is helping the country meet urgent medical needs through the procurement of ventilators, tests, laboratory equipment, masks and other supplies that will help strengthen the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 3 April 2020 – Albania: UNOPS has partnered with the European Union for the emergency procurement and supply of life-saving medical equipment and supplies to help contain the spread of COVID-19. This includes CT scanners, ventilators, ambulances and mobile X-ray machines.
- 1 April 2020 – Serbia: With funding from the European Union, UNOPS is procuring two specialized machines that amplify DNA and detect the presence of pathogens. We are also procuring supplies for 25,000 COVID-19 tests, as well as 800,000 protective medical face masks.
- 30 March 2020 – Kosovo*: UNOPS has partnered with the European Union to help strengthen Kosovo’s response to COVID-19. Through UNOPS emergency procurement expertise, around €5 million worth of medical supplies and equipment will be delivered, including 400 hospital beds, five ambulances and essential items such as ventilators. (*referred to throughout in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 )
- 27 March 2020 – Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro: UNOPS is helping procure essential medical and non-medical items as prioritized by the three governments. With initial funding of €3 million from the European Union for Serbia and $2.5 million from the Kingdom of Norway for all three countries, UNOPS is procuring 150 respirators to strengthen medical capacity and help respond to the pandemic.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- 8 May 2020 – Panama: To protect workers, UNOPS and the Pan American Health Organization – the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization – jointly published new guidelines detailing measures that can be taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on construction sites.
- 1 May 2020 – Guatemala: UNOPS worked with the World Health Organization and the government of Guatemala to assess the country's need for COVID-19 test kits. Facilitated by UNOPS, the European Union donated 70,000 test kits, with UNOPS managing the transportation of the kits to Guatemala.
- 3 April 2020 – Argentina: In response to a request from the City of Buenos Aires government, UNOPS will procure ventilators, face masks and diagnostic kits to increase the capacity of the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNOPS is also continuing to support the White Helmets Commission – a body of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for designing and implementing international humanitarian assistance. Through this support, UNOPS will procure personal protection equipment and hygiene supplies that will be used by volunteers and the vulnerable people they attend to.
- 31 March 2020 – Brazil: UNOPS is working with the government of Brazil to strengthen its response to COVID-19 in various parts of the country. To date, UNOPS has procured a range of personal protective equipment to be used by health professionals, including coverall suits, goggles, gloves and face shields.
- 31 March 2020 – Paraguay: On behalf of the Ministry of Health and with funding from Itaipu Binacional, UNOPS procured personal hygiene and cleaning items, bedding supplies, as well as a food service for 180 Paraguayan citizens who were subject to the sanitary quarantine protocol established by the national government.
- 25 March 2020 – Guatemala: UNOPS is assisting Guatemala’s Social Security Institute (IGSS) with the procurement of urgent medical items to diagnose, treat and monitor patients infected with COVID-19. Our team is also advising on mitigation actions that will help to ensure that the provision of existing healthcare services continues as planned – including the purchase of essential medicines and equipment. UNOPS specialists from a range of sectors are also supporting the IGSS to manage the health crisis more broadly.
- 25 March 2020 – Paraguay: UNOPS is working with the government to procure medical equipment such as ventilators and monitors, as well as other items needed for health clinics. Funded by Itaipu Binacional – one of the world’s largest generators of renewable energy – the project will provide an additional 35 hospital beds and seven intensive care monitors and reinforce the capacity of the Ministry of Health’s response efforts.
- 24 March 2020 – Argentina*: UNOPS is supporting the government’s response efforts by helping to urgently procure 11 fully-equipped emergency modular units, which will be installed in four provinces to provide 798 extra inpatient therapy beds. One-third of the space will be dedicated to intensive care units. (*updated 15 April 2020)
- 6 May 2020 – Jordan: In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development, UNOPS expedited the procurement and delivery of critical radiology equipment and furnishings for the newly constructed emergency department at Al-Bashir Hospital, as part of an ongoing project. UNOPS will also procure IT equipment to support the activation of an integrated electronic health record system. This will assist Jordan's Ministry of Health's ongoing COVID-19 response efforts.
- 5 May 2020 – Iraq: In partnership with the World Bank and Iraq's Ministry of Health and Environment, UNOPS is procuring intensive care unit equipment – including ventilators, vital signs monitors, portable x-ray machines, defibrillators and electrical hospital beds – to help COVID-19 response efforts in the country. The $7.8 million project is being funded by a loan from the World Bank.
- 30 April 2020 – Iraq: The UNOPS-implemented Iraq Information Centre provides life-saving information to internally displaced persons, refugees, returnees and host community members. In partnership with an international non-governmental organization, call operators are conducting surveys to gather community views and feedback on the COVID-19 pandemic. The surveys – given in Anbar, Dahuk, Erbil, Ninewa, Salah al-Din and Sulaymaniyah Governates – will be used to facilitate dialogue with response organizations in Iraq.
- 3 April 2020 – Lebanon: Under the World Bank's Health Resilience Project, UNOPS and the World Health Organization are supporting the Ministry of Public Health with the procurement of critically needed equipment and supplies. This includes personal protective equipment, ventilators and specialized machines. This will help increase the capacity of hospitals to respond to the pandemic.
- 24 April 2020 – Papua New Guinea: UNOPS is supporting the National Department of Health by procuring a range of medical equipment and supplies worth over $12 million.
With $10.5 million in funding from the World Bank and under the leadership of the National Department of Health, UNOPS will also procure emergency medical supplies, a mobile laboratory and laboratory equipment, isolation facilities and 25,000 test kits. This will help to strengthen the country's capacity to treat COVID-19 cases and to reduce the spread of the virus. UNOPS is also providing logistical support for the safe transportation of lab specimens for COVID-19 testing.