UNDP Sudan: COVID-19 update/response

March 25, 2020

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the declaration of a State of Health Emergency in Sudan, UNDP Sudan (alongside other UN agencies including WHO) has taken rapid action to protect those we serve, our communities and our staff.

Our priorities are ensuring the health and wellbeing of everyone we interact with, and providing responsive and on-going support to the people and Government of Sudan to address this crisis and its long-term impacts.

We must address the socioeconomic challenges beyond the health sector, to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate the potentially devastating impact it may have on vulnerable populations and economies.

For those seeking health advice, we strongly recommend calling (not visiting) your usual medical provider, and visiting the WHO COVID-19 website.

Our support:

  • As UNDP, our global support focuses on three phases: preparation, response and recovery
  • We have urgently reviewed our existing projects and where possible have adapted these to support pressing health needs
  • We are providing COVID-19 dedicated support to the Ministry of Health with existing Global Fund and UNDP resources, and are exploring additional regional and global resources
  • We are working to evaluate and mitigate the potential long-term economic impact of COVID-19. It is critical that the world plans for the recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak and learns lessons that will help prevent and address further such crises
  • We are working to support business continuity and crisis management for the Government of Sudan, including helping essential government offices stay safe and connected
  • As part of our UNAMID-UNDP State Liaison Function (SLF) work in Darfur, we have jointly repurposed funds to assist communities in a variety of ways – supporting isolation centers and risk communications efforts – focusing on vulnerable groups
  • We are working closely with the Ministry of Health across the country to support the rehabilitation and preparation of additional isolation centers, providing much needed capacity to the health sector response
  • We’ve supported safe wheat harvesting, protected health in prisons, and mobilized our livelihood-trained soapmakers.

Our work:

  • We anticipate necessary health-related steps will impact some of our existing projects (particularly training programmes and activities that gather groups of people). Our teams are looking into alternative ways to deliver on our development commitments, subject to public health restrictions
  • Unfortunately, due to the unpredictable nature and duration of the current crisis, we cannot currently estimate the impact this will have on our existing projects

Our staff:

  • Across Sudan, we have implemented a remote work policy for almost all our staff, and directed all internal meetings to take place via phone/digital systems
  • All UNDP in-person conferences and meetings have been postponed. Where possible, we have shifted to virtual alternatives to ensure our support continues
  • UNDP staff have been asked to withdraw from physical attendance at external conferences/meetings, and attend virtually where possible
  • International travel for UNDP Sudan staff has been halted, with exceptions for critical needs. UNDP staff entering Sudan must undergo a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine, or other measures as required by the Government of Sudan. Domestic travel has been heavily restricted. 
  • These policies also apply to our Implementing Partners