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UNDP has served as interim Principal Recipient of Global Fund HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria grants in 53 countries since 2003, supporting governments to implement large scale health programmes, to strengthen health systems and to reach marginalised and hard-to-reach populations, often in some of the most challenging country contexts. This work has contributed to saving 4.5 million lives. As COVID-19 continues to devastate communities around the world, supporting countries to protect these hard-won gains, responding to COVID-19, and mitigating the impact of the pandemic on other health services is critical. The most vulnerable communities, already the hardest hit by the pandemic, must not be allowed to fall further behind.

UNDP, in partnership with the Global Fund, is leveraging its strong relationships with governments, national partners, the UN family and communities to step up its support to HIV, TB and malaria responses, ensure that essential health services are still available and strengthen health systems.

For millions of people on the move — such as refugees and internally displaced persons who are forced to flee their homes from violence or disaster, or migrants in precarious situations – the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to have catastrophic consequences. Crowded living conditions and limited access to basics such as health care, water, sanitation and nutrition combine to create a precarious situation, particularly for those already at risk of, or living with, serious health conditions. Health programmes are striving to ensure continuity of services with HIV and TB treatment and bed nets in the most complex and challenging operating environments.

In Iran, which has faced a devastating COVID-19 outbreak, UNDP and the Global Fund have been supporting Afghan migrant and refugee populations with TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment services. While the pandemic has had an impact on active case finding of TB patients, the monitoring of existing patients has been able to continue, either through traditional monitoring in the field or through phone calls to ensure treatment is not disrupted. UNDP is also ensuring continuation of TB testing through procurement of necessary supplies, as well as personal protective equipment for TB front line health workers.

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Working at the heart of the United Nations family and in close coordination with the World Health Organization, UNDP is responding to a growing volume of requests from countries to help them prepare for, respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing particularly on the most vulnerable.

In line with UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 and its HIV, Health and Development Strategy, UNDP works on HIV and health in 138 countries.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.


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