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COVID-19 Situation Report No. 4 for UNFPA Arab States

Regional Highlights

  • All  countries  in  the  region  have  now  confirmed  COVID-19 cases  with  a  consistent  increase  in  infection  cases  and deaths including in some of the most fragile countries in the region such as Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Libya. People’s resilience  is  weakened,  and  while  even  developed  public health  systems  struggle  to  cope,  the  most  fragile  health systems are ill-equipped for the COVID-19 response.
  • The  deteriorating  socio-economic  situation  creates  further hardship in already fragile settings. The region hosts some of   the   world’s   worst   humanitarian   crises.   Prior   to   the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 62.5 million people were in need  of  humanitarian  assistance,  including  15.5  million women  of  reproductive  age  of  whom  an  estimated  1.5 million are pregnant.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is straining public health systems and     has     triggered     unprecedented     measures     by governments    around    the    world,    including    movement restrictions  and  shelter-in-place  orders.  Many  countries, including in the Arab States region, are slowly easing some of the most severe mitigation measures.
  • The UNFPA Arab States Regional Office and country offices support  governments  and  work  with  UN  agencies  and national and international partners to minimize disruption to lifesaving   sexual   and   reproductive   health   (SRH)   and gender-based  violence  (GBV)  services,  provide  protective personal  equipment  (PPE)  and  support  safety  of  patients and    health    workers    through    strengthening    infection prevention    and    control.   Amid    movement    restrictions, alternate   solutions   to   deliver   services   are   underway including   virtual   outreach,   mobile   clinics,   home   visits, hotlines and provision of dignity kits in isolation centres
  • The regional office added two technical briefs on COVID-19 Disrupting SDG 5.3: Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation and on The Implications of COVID-19 on Census to the growing body of knowledge around COVID-19 and its impact on SRH and GBV."