Brief: United Nations response to Covid-19 in Pakistan, December 2021

Save lives, protect people, recover better – this is the UN’s mission in Pakistan to turn the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our support for the Government’s COVID-19 response is threefold. First, our immediate WHO-led health response is about controlling the transmission of coronavirus, getting people the health care they need, and reducing mortality. UN agencies are assisting coordination, planning and monitoring nationwide, guided by the UN Resident Coordinator. Risk communication and community engagement is helping people understand how dangerous COVID-19 is, and how to keep themselves – and others – safe. We are mobilizing young people, the media, religious leaders, teachers, students, parents, law enforcement and authorities nationwide. UN support is strengthening surveillance and case identification, laboratory capacities and testing, and preventive measures at points of entry. Infection prevention and control efforts are reaching frontline workers with personal protective equipment and training, and providing lifesaving WASH facilities and supplies to communities.

Second, the UN’s humanitarian response is helping the most vulnerable people in Pakistan to withstand the COVID-19 crisis. Better planning, emergency supplies, and food and cash aid are reaching those most in need, especially communities recovering from floods and multiple shocks.

Third, our socio-economic response is mitigating the pandemic’s human crisis. Through the five pillars of the UN’s COVID-19 Pakistan Socio-Economic Framework, we are working to keep public services accessible, households afloat, businesses solvent, supply chains functioning, institutions strong, and human rights at the forefront. Health is our first pillar. We are working to strengthen Pakistan’s health system so that it can confront COVID-19 while continuing to deliver essential services – from immunization to maternal and child health services, alongside health care for communicable and non-communicable diseases. Our second pillar centres on social protection and basic services. We are combatting malnutrition, supporting agriculture and food security, enabling children to learn remotely, and ensuring support and services for survivors of gender-based violence. Our third pillar is Pakistan’s economic recovery. We are reaching out to SMEs, training entrepreneurs, creating cash-for-work opportunities, and backing innovative business ideas. Multilateral collaboration and macroeconomic response are our fourth pillar. With our fifth and final pillar, we are mobilizing Pakistan’s youth to lay the groundwork for social cohesion and community resilience – as we strive to ‘recover better’ from COVID-19 and build a brighter future for everyone in Pakistan.


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