Weekly COVID-19 Regional Updates – 3 August 2020

Four nations outside Europe, Cuba, Taiwan, Mauritius and Vietnam have so far managed to successfully confront and contain the Covid-19 onslaught. This article looks at the ways in which these countries managed to do this and what lessons can be learnt from these strategies.

https://data.unwomen.org/resources/covid-19-emerging-gender-data-and-why-it-matters#vaw

UN Women are working with partners to deliver a more accurate picture of the gender dimension to the response so that it can be more effective for women and girls.

https://reports.unocha.org/en/country/southern-eastern-africa/
The Southern and Eastern Africa Covid-19 Digest Situation Report from the Un Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Last updated: 2 Aug 2020

Zimbabwe:

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/29/prisoners-zimbabwe-grave-risk-covid-19-spread

Zimbabwean prisons are at risk for being hot spots for the spread of Covid-19. This poses risks for the recent anti-corruption activists recently detained in the country.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/07/1069011

UN OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell, speaking to journalists in Geneva, expressed concern over allegations suggesting that Zimbabwean authorities may be using the COVID-19 crisis as a pretext to stifle freedom of expression and peaceful assembly on the streets.

Malawi:

https://reliefweb.int/report/malawi/unicef-malawi-covid-19-situation-report-23-29-july-2020

UNICEF’s Malawi Situation Report on Covid-19 as 23-29 July.

https://www.voanews.com/africa/malawi-government-under-pressure-pardon-covid-19-prisoners

In Malawi, pressure is mounting on authorities to consider decongesting the country’s prisons after 51 inmates and 16 prison guards tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

eSwatini:

https://www.unfpa.org/news/eswatini-sms-service-helps-women-access-family-planning-food-amid-pandemic

A partnership between UNFPA, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the health ministry’s Sexual Reproductive Health Unit provides an SMS service to women which has encouraged thousands of women in Eswatini to access contraceptives, and also provided welcome monthly reminders lest they forget.

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2020/07/29/pr20274-eswatini-imf-executive-board-approves-us-million-emergency-support-covid-19-pandemic

The IMF approved US$110.4 million in emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument to support the authorities’ efforts in addressing the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lesotho:

https://fews.net/southern-africa/lesotho/key-message-update/july-2020

A sharp increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases in Lesotho is a concern to livelihoods, according to FEWS NET.

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2020/07/29/pr20273-imf-executive-board-approves-emergency-support-to-lesotho-to-address-the-covid-19-pandemic

The IMF approved US$49.1 million emergency support under the Rapid Credit Facility and the Rapid Financing Instrument to help Lesotho meet urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic