The UN agencies in Belarus join forces for crisis response

The Joint Programme of UN agencies in Belarus has got a new component addressing vulnerable populations.

October 21, 2022

The Joint Programme of UN agencies in Belarus, focusing on promotion of new tools for sustainable development budgeting, has got a new component with particular attention to vulnerable populations.

The new component aims at identifying the specific impact that the current crisis in the region has on vulnerable groups and will contribute the development of recommendations for targeted responses.

In addition to the fields of education, healthcare and climate change that are already covered by the Joint Programme, the new component will focus on the food security and agriculture which are especially important today in the region. Moreover, the component will cover the impact of the crisis on families with children and reproductive health.

Participating UN agencies will contribute to the implementation of the Joint Programme across various thematic areas.

UNDP, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus and with expert support from FAO, will conduct a complex assessment in the areas of food security and agriculture. The results of it will allow to suggest new opportunities for supply chains between farmers and major retailers. The assessment will contribute to the identification of the ways to advance certification of organic products. UNDP, in cooperation with the financial sector organizations, will organize educational workshops for Belarusian farmers to familiarize them with regulatory actions when planning new types of entrepreneurial activities.

UNDP will also contribute to the development of recommendations for individual farmers and local business communities, line ministries, focused on the aspects of support to the agricultural production, including processing and supply to the retail chains. All these measures will contribute to the improvement of national food security programmes and practices.

UNICEF activities within the new Joint Programme component will analyze the impact of various evolving internal and external factors and challenges, including the rapid growth of global food prices, on income redistribution and child poverty. Based on the research study findings, UNICEF and national partners will develop recommendations to strengthen social assistance tools, statistics methodology, and tax and budgetary policy focused on families with children.

UNFPA, in partnership with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, will conduct a study on the potential impact of the financial crisis on the healthcare system, with particular focus on reproductive health, including further forecast of demographic data, with recommendations on cost effective measures addressing reproductive health and infertility. It is planned to identify and describe ways to reform in-patient care, as well as to analyze the possibilities of some elements of digitalization to maintain the financial sustainability of the healthcare system in a crisis context and to achieve SDGs in public health. These studies will also include an investment case – a special tool that can be used to demonstrate the cost/value ratio of the health programmes and identify financial gaps – as well as the necessary resources and commitments required.

UN Women will partner with the participating UN agencies to ensure the needs of women and men are addressed in the analyses and recommendations for targeted measures in response to the crisis in the region in food security and agriculture sector, as well as social protection (with focus on families with children). It will work with national stakeholders to identify entry points for integrating gender analysis and the perspective of equality of women and men in the policy/programme planning and budgeting.

After the Joint Programme is finalized, Belarus will be equipped with technical capacity and tools to continue its transition to performance-based budgeting in the context of the ongoing crisis in the region. These tools will be applied in the areas of healthcare, social services, natural resources, as well as food security and agriculture.

The new component is part of the Joint Programme implemented since 2021 by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and UN RC Office in Belarus and funded by the Joint SGD Fund.