The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Eight places where UNOPS is working to improve health

This article was published more than two years ago. Some information may no longer be accurate.

To mark World Health Day 2015, we take a look at some of the valuable health-related projects that UNOPS has recently been engaged in as part of its core mission: serving people in need.

UNOPS is currently providing $170 million worth of health-related project support to its partners around the world, helping communities gain greater access to the health facilities, services and supplies they need to lead healthy and dignified lives.

From constructing hospitals, to procuring medical equipment and supplies, UNOPS is working to deliver sustainable health outcomes for millions of people.

#1 Serbia – In south-west Serbia, UNOPS implemented a project to support rural development and increase the competitiveness of white cheese producers from the Pešter Plateau. Funded by the European Union, the Government of Switzerland and the Czech Development Agency, the 'Agri-Business Development Programme' provided training to dairy farmers on food safety regulations, including hygienic ways to collect, store and transport milk.  

The training focused on standardized food safety practices for local producers, in an effort to enhance the quality and quantity of products being sold. Emphasis on hygienic production practices was a key part of the programme's overall development efforts in the region, as part of the European Partnership with Municipalities (EU PROGRES) programme.

#2 West Africa - Earlier this year, UNOPS signed a new partnership with the Governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, to assist with a range of Ebola recovery and response initiatives in the region. The rapid spread of Ebola in West Africa proved devastating, and was accelerated by factors that included limited health infrastructure and poor hygiene practices.  

With funding from the World Bank, UNOPS is working with the three Governments and other partners to reach zero Ebola cases and make the transition to early recovery.

#3 Ethiopia – UNOPS is providing operational support for numerous health-related projects in Ethiopia. Since 2013, UNOPS has helped to procure medical laboratory equipment, as well as vehicles (pictured) to provide transportation of medical training personnel and other medical practitioners.

Working with partners, including the Government of Ethiopia's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, these projects have helped to improve the quality of healthcare across Ethiopia, and, in particular, to increase access to healthcare services for people in rural areas.

#4 Myanmar - UNOPS serves as fund manager in Myanmar for the Three Millennium Development Goal Fund (3MDG), a programme that supports maternal, new born and child health services in poor and remote communities, and the strengthening of national health systems, and works to combat HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Established in 2012, the five-year 3MDG programme will see more than $300 million in funding to support better health services for communities, with a focus on the most vulnerable people living in rural areas of Myanmar.

UNOPS is the principal recipient in Myanmar of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, where it is assisting the Ministry of Health to manage Global Fund grants over a six-year period, to 2016. To date, more than 3.4 million people have been tested for Malaria, while almost half a million have been treated for Tuberculosis.

#5 Guatemala – UNOPS collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to help build a new $40 million hospital in Quetzaltenango, as part of a multi-faceted project that commenced in 2006. Funded by the Guatemalan Social Security Institute, the now-complete facility comprises 230 hospital beds, and incorporates an environmentally friendly and earthquake-resistant design.

#6 Nicaragua - In Nicaragua, working in cooperation with the Government of Mexico, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNOPS has built critical medical infrastructure, such as hospitals, and delivered valuable health education in schools and communities across the country.

In a unique project funded and developed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNOPS collaborated with a local theatre company to develop 'El Circo del agua', or 'The Water Circus'. The performance helped raise awareness about the importance of sanitation, hygiene and water for good health, and was shown in 260 schools and several communities across the country.

#7 Haiti - A partnership between UNOPS and the Ministry of Public Health and Population saw the construction of a 200-bed hospital in Gonaïves. The new facility replaced the city's previous hospital, which was destroyed by Hurricane Jeanne a decade earlier. Funded by the Government of Canada, the Providence Hospital of Gonaïves was officially opened in November 2014 and now provides essential healthcare services to more than 300,000 residents of the Artibonite department.

#8 Peru – For the past eight years, UNOPS has assisted the Government of Peru with the procurement of ambulances and a range of other medical equipment and health technology, in an effort to improve health infrastructure. UNOPS has also implemented and supervised the construction of several new hospitals in Peru, including in Apurímac, which has improved the quality of health services for the local population.

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