UN allocates P1.4B for PH’s COVID-19 rapid response
MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations (UN) has provided around P1.4 billion for the country’s COVID-19 pandemic rapid response activities, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez said.
According to Gonzales, the funds were given to 20 UN agencies in the country implementing at least 150 COVID-19 response measures. It was then acknowledged by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua.
“In the Philippines, the UN has moved swiftly to support the government-led effort to contain COVID-19 and limit its socioeconomic impact,” Gonzalez said in a program on Wednesday.
“Our support combines the reorientation of existing interventions to cope with the crisis, the implementation of timely impact assessments as well as technical assistance and in-kind support to national, regional and community partners,” he added.
On the other hand, Chua thanked the UN for continuously supporting the Philippine’s efforts in combatting the health crisis — especially as the pandemic has placed a dent in the country’s economic activity.
Last August, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the Philippine economy is officially in recession after the gross domestic product shrank by 16.5 percent for the second quarter of 2020.
This is attributed to the various lockdowns placed to avoid coronavirus transmissions — which suspended work and forced various industries into closure, resulting in unemployment rates of 39.5 percent, based on survey results by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
“The Philippines acknowledges the UN’s immediate support to the COVID-19 response in the Philippines. We recognize these contributions in the health sector through humanitarian initiatives that target the most vulnerable, on top of multi-sectoral programs and activities that aim to assist the Philippines’ recovery from the pandemic,” Chua said.
“With the help of organizations like the UN, we are hopeful that the country can be more resilient in facing future crises,” he noted.
The grant is the latest inflow of money to aid the Philippines’ COVID-19 response. Last June, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the Philippines has received over P6.5 billion in donations.
As of the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s September report, the total sum of the country’s loans and grants it received for the pandemic is now at $10.9 billion or P529 billion.
Health authorities reported on Thursday that the country now has 376,935 confirmed COVID-19 patients, with 39,940 of these considered active cases. Of the total count, 329,848 have recovered while 7,147 have died. [ac]
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