UNDP's support to national response to COVID-19

Support to the National Response to contain the impact of COVID-19

Situational Analysis


As at April 19th, there are now 10 cases with more expected, and one recorded death. Though most cases were seeded from abroad, there is now local transmission, with the 2nd and 3rd cases both involved multiple contacts at mosques, family homesteads and medical facilities. More importantly, cases have now been reported in 2 out of the 8 Local Government Areas. There is a clear and immediate need to ramp up preparedness. As of March 23rd, all flights into the Gambia have been banned and borders closed; any visitors arriving from outside the Gambia were placed on 14-day quarantine. In addition, government has effective March 18th banned all public gatherings and meetings, schools and public to slow the spread of the virus. Open markets are to be closed and all foreign tour operators have ceased operations.


Lessons learnt from successful implementation of the National Ebola Virus Disease Plan (NEVDP, 2015) relative to health systems strengthening has been utilized for the development of the current COVID-19 Plan, aligned with the national disaster plan. This comprehensive approach will enable the country to maximize and efficiently utilize its resources to ensure the health security of its population. This plan seeks to strengthen the: surveillance system; interventions of frontline health care workers and their retention; diagnostic capacities of national and network systems; risk communication, social mobilisation and community engagement procedures; logistic support; and safety of heath care workers. UNDP’s programmatic offer to Gambia aims at providing effective, multi-sectoral, inclusive support and ensuring recovery responses to COVID-19.


The total budget of the National Response Plan is approx. US$11 million implemented through the Ministry of Health. However, the budget is under-stated since neither health infrastructure cost nor socio-economic impact initiatives are included. Furthermore, other key ministries such as Finance (socio-economic impact and response), Justice (Rule of Law and Prisons), Interior ( Security), National Disaster Management Agency (overall disaster/crisis coordination) Trade, and Office of the President should be part of the response and recovery framework. As a development partners in the Gambia; UNDP joins in efforts to contain and mitigate the local transmission of the COVID-19. UNDP’s response is part of the UN Response Plan aligned to the National COVID-19 Plan. In sync with the corporate offer, UNDP Gambia will respond strategically and urgently to safeguarding progress on the SDGs and delivering on the pledge to leave no one behind. Global UNDP leads the socio-economic and recovery work of the UN COVID Response efforts in close collaboration with national governments.


Thus, UNDP will fill in identified critical and lifesaving gaps in the national response and invest as seed fund to support scale-up of quick-wins. Some gaps identified include: ensuring business continuity through digitization; health awareness in prisons and decongestions initiatives; Hazmat suits for the police; and mobilizing the youth through the YouthConnekt.  Thinking forward to the Recovery phase, a Socio-Economic impact study  and rapid assessment of vulnerable employment due to COVID-19 will short and medium-term impacts of the epidemic and indicate appropriate response including stimulus and social protection packages.  


Areas of intervention


Socio-economic impact and needs assessment

1. Undertake a macro and micro-level socio-economic impact assessment of the economy and specific focus on gender dimension, and vulnerable and marginalized populations and people living with disability

2. Mapping and identifying vulnerable households for provision of social protection.

3. Assessing impact of COVID-19 on women 

Inclusive and integrated Crisis Management and Response

1. Support Judiciary to establish a virtual or live mobile court to hear cases, particularly for remand prisoners, in the 3 prison facilities

2. Training to police personnel on observance of human rights in enforcing restrictive measures and halting unnecessary detention and arrest for minor and petty crimes to reduce congestion.

3. Support to National Coordination processes and Frameworks (Response & Recovery) - Interagency Dashboard, Government BCP, Support to Case Hotline.


Health System's and Procurement Support

1. Identifying and costing health and response Infrastructure needs

2. Provision of medical support to facilities within Prisons and for Prison Personnel

3. Undertake cleaning of public spaces in concert with municipalities

4. Risk reduction for vulnerable populations e.g. prison settings, providing training material on health emergency preparedness, initiatives to ease congestion, contingency planning and management, training judicial and administrative authorities and law makers

5. Working with local private sector for local solutions

6. Procurement of Protective suits for the police. For 150 police @ 750GMD per suit.  


UNDP will work closely with FAO, UNCDF, and ITC on the recovery aspects and UNICEF and WFP to ensure a humanitarian development approach to the crisis. In terms of resource mobilization, the World Bank and IMF will provide US$ 10 million and US$ 20 million respectively as budgetary support to the government. The Islamic Development bank will also be providing grants to counter the socio-economic impact of the epidemic.  Thus, effective implementation of the activities in this proposal and allocation of the required budget to the CO will also support deliver some of the resources allocated by partners. UNDP COVID-19 response will be implemented for a duration of 12 to 18 months contingent on evolutions in the pandemic.  

Programme Area




Socio-economic needs assessment and response




Crisis response and management




Health System Support









Impact briefs


Safety and Security Report

Socio-Economic Impact Assessment