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

Situational Analysis and Strategy

The world is confronted with a crisis unlike any other, affecting everyone with dramatic health, societal and economic consequences and threatening the progress made against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The COVID-19 pandemic calls for a multi-sectoral and whole-of-society response to efficiently mitigate the impact on people globally and in Thailand, and safeguard results made towards the SDGs.

The United Nations, underlining the world’s shared responsibility to address the crisis, is calling for global solidarity to stop the pandemic. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has developed a response framed around three objectives: help countries to prepare for the pandemic, to respond to it and to recover from its multi-sector impacts. This requires a simultaneous effort as these objectives are strongly inter-linked.

Prepare

Globally, UNDP supports countries to strengthen health systems, including helping them procure much-needed medical supplies, use digital technologies, and ensure health workers are paid.

In Thailand, UNDP along the UN Country Team is contributing to the health response by amplifying with its partners prevention messaging to curb the spread of the virus and stands ready to assist the Royal Thai Government with efficient and reliable procurement of medical supplies based on its global network of country offices and suppliers.

Respond

Globally, UNDP supports a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response by working across key sectors to slow the spread of the virus and to provide protection for vulnerable populations.

In Thailand, UNDP provides assistance to the most vulnerable and uses existing networks to ensure programming reaches everyone fairly. UNDP contributes to mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic with a special focus on most vulnerable populations such as youth, people with disabilities, ethnic communities, LGBTI people, with consideration to environmental and climate issues.

Recover

Globally, UNDP supports countries to assess the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and undertakes urgent recovery measures, especially for the poor, marginalized and at-risk groups.

In Thailand, UNDP together with its partners, conducts surveys to gather reliable data and analyze findings on the impact of the pandemic on several sectors. Using this information, UNDP works with the Royal Thai Government and other key stakeholders to plan and implement recovery measures applying a build-back-better approach, promoting a more sustainable development pathway to strengthen the resilience of Thailand to such crises and pursue progress towards the SDGs while safeguarding the results achieved so far.

Safeguarding the SDGs

The coronavirus is changing the world, starting as a health crisis and having rapidly become a global human development crisis. The pandemic is impacting all dimensions of sustainable development, challenging our society and putting huge pressure on our economies and systems, and in many places reversing development gains.

As part of the UN system, UNDP offers immediate assistance to Thailand's national COVID-19 response, to prepare for, respond to, and recover from this pandemic, ensuring no one is left behind, while safeguarding the progress achieved towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNDP is mobilizing existing partnerships, leveraging networks and resources and integrating interventions to maximize its contribution to the COVID-19 response. UNDP upholds human rights and gender equality in all its work and places great emphasis on reaching the most vulnerable people in society.

In Thailand, UNDP has defined four pillars for its contribution to the national COVID-19 response.

Areas of interventions

 

Assessing Socio-Economic Impact For a Resilient Recovery 

While COVID-19 is a health crisis, it is also a development crisis with severe impact on livelihoods and the economy, resulting in a 5% GDP contraction in 2020 according to the Bank of Thailand and loss of income and jobs for millions of Thai people due to the pandemic.

  • Conduct with other UN Agencies a thorough socio-economic impact assessment of the pandemic including recommendations for a resilient and sustainable recovery and safeguard the progress towards the SDGs
  • Assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the tourism sector and its supply chain in touristic locations such as Phuket, explore diversification opportunities for local economies and lay the foundation for strengthening the resilience of these localities
  • Support young entrepreneurs most at risk of falling behind in the anticipated economic slow-down
  • Maximize crowdsourcing potential to ensure healthcare and other frontline workers are provided support with food, and that local restaurants continue generating revenue and maintain employment by staying open during the crisis in partnership with Food for Fighters
  • Adopt a comprehensive gender perspective in the COVID-19 response to take into account the specific vulnerabilities and needs of women and girls, and promote the use of sex-disaggregated data and partnerships with women organizations in the recovery

Ensuring No One Is Left Behind In the Response

If the pandemic affects everyone, its impact is felt differently by people and existing inequalities are further reinforced, underlining the importance of focusing on the most vulnerable and ensuring the crisis response leaves no one behind.

  • Adapt COVID-19 prevention messages to reach everyone. Translation into local languages for hill tribes and ethnic minority communities, and using sign language and braille for hearing and visually-impaired people.
  • Survey the impact of the pandemic on people, communities and institutions, from youth to local authorities, small businesses to vulnerable communities and design interventions tailored to address their specific needs
  • Monitor hate speech and work towards preventing stigma against COVID-19 affected people and other vulnerable and marginalized people, fostering a human-rights based and inclusive approach to the pandemic response
  • Design and implement interventions to address violence against women and provide tools to report cases and services to victims
  • Assess the impact of the pandemic on hill tribes and ethnic minority communities
  • Survey the impact of the crisis on the LGBTI community, with a special focus on transgender people particularly affected in their livelihoods and ability to access services
  • Ensure people with disabilities have access to basic services as well as access to all prevention information, and are provided economic opportunities
  • Support the justice system to ensure continuation of access to justice and the work of the courts, promote protection for those placed in corrections facilities

 

Strengthening Climate Action and Environmental Sustainability

Climate change and deforestation has led to closer interaction between wildlife and communities encouraging the emergence of diseases such as the COVID-19. Loss of biodiversity threatens the eco-systems needed to ensure the well-being of communities and the supply of key ingredients needed for medicines, underlining the importance of environmental health issues in development.

  • Influence behavior change vis-à-vis wildlife consumption and illegal trade of endangered animals
  • Ensure biodiversity is protected from increased exploitation by providing alternative livelihoods opportunities for communities
  • Identify and institutionalize financing mechanisms to provide increased resources to biodiversity conservation and environmental health
  • Monitor greenhouse gasses and carbon output ensuring all COVID-19 recovery programmes have a low-carbon element
  • Ensure the recovery and the re-start of the economy is not at the detriment of further environmental degradation and exacerbates issues such as air pollution and climate emergency

Leveraging Partnerships for Results

UNDP harnesses the power of partnerships to bring all actors together to both bridge the gap in the emergency and lay the foundation for a more resilient and sustainable future.

  • Collaborate with UN Agencies and complement their expertise toward a shared goal of mitigating the socio-economic and environmental impact of the pandemic
  • Create a private sector platform for a coordinated targeted intervention, working closely with the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Thailand Responsible Business Network and the Global Compact Local Network in Thailand
  • Provide support to grassroots partners to reach the most vulnerable people impacted by immediate and longer term impact of the outbreak
  • Tap into international financing and funding opportunities for maximum impact in the short, medium and long term, and promote an integrated national financing framework to guide financing
  • Work with the Royal Thai Government to ensure expertise is mobilized and experience shared to ensure Business Continuity Plans are prepared for local government authorities who are at the front line of the local response to the crisis
  • Engage with the Parliament, elected representatives and Secretariat staff to strengthen the link between immediate interventions and longer term legislative and budgetary initiatives to ensure a sustainable recovery and foster the link between central authority and local communities
  • Guide private sector investments in Thailand’s emergency and development priorities like redirecting production efforts and protecting the food supply chain from farms to markets, ensuring enterprises adopt Business Continuity Plans and systems to promote contingency measures
  • Identify and disseminate relevant innovation and digital solutions to adapt to new working arrangements and practices that promote safer and more sustainable production, consumption and development

 

Areas of Intervention

Budget

Available

Gap

Assessing Socio-Economic Impact for a Resilient Recovery

$4,000,000

$400,000

$3,600,000

Ensuring No One Is Left Behind

$1,500,000

$100,000

$1,400,000

Strengthening Climate Action and Environmental Sustainability

$1,000,000

$200,000

$800,000 

Leveraging Partnerships for Results

$1,500,000

$200,000

$1,300,000

Total 

$8,000,000

$900,000

$7,100,000

 

LINKS TO CO RESOURCES

For more information about UNDP Thailand support to COVID-19 Country Response, please visit

https://www.th.undp.org/content/thailand/en/home/library/other-publications/undp-thailand-covid-19-country-response-.html

For more information about COVID-19 Situation in Thailand, please visit https://ddc.moph.go.th

For more information about work on non-communicable diseases, please visit https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/hiv-aids/multi-sectoral-approaches-to-ncds-in-thailand.html

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