United Nations and Its Current Involvement in the Region (Part 2)

COVID-19 Reports on Latin America and the Caribbean: No. 47

Please refer to report no. 46 as well.

UN Regional Commission

ECLAC is the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, created in 1948. As a response to the pandemic, ECLAC has built an Observatory in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Observatory’s goal is to track public policies implemented by 33 countries of the region to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, it offers analyses of the social and economic effects of these policies at the national and sectoral levels.  

In May 2020, ECLAC and the ILO presented a new joint publication in which they analyze labour challenges in the wake of the pandemic. The organizations indicate that the crisis will likely cause 11.5 million more people to be unemployed in Latin America and the Caribbean. Before the end of 2020,  two key publications were released. The Employment Situation in Latin America and the Caribbean report, jointly prepared twice-yearly by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Office for the Southern Cone of Latin America of the International Labour Organization (ILO) analyses the labour market trends in Latin America and the Caribbean amid the COVID-19 health crisis. The ILO annual 2020 Labour Overview for Latin America and the Caribbean report on the pandemic’s impact in LAM labour markets. 

The crisis caused by the pandemic has harmed women in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the last report published by ECLAC, “COVID-19 has caused a setback of over a decade in labour market participation for women in the region” (February 2021). 
UN Programmes

Across Latin America and the Caribbean, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNDP has developed valuable information tools and resources. 

Governments have been forced to take extraordinary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including steps that have given place to an unprecedented economic crisis and efforts to mitigate its effects. UNDP country offices from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are monitoring governments’ policy response as it has been occurring since the start of the pandemic. The result is a continuously updated dataset containing the chronology of the policy response in LAC called Chronology of the policy response during the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. This tool allows you to create a Timeline by country or by area of intervention. 

The UNDP COVID-19 response by country covers a wide range of aspects from Government Response to the UNDP Support to Prepare, Respond and Recover, and the program’s support to the United Nations in every Country Team. 

UNDP has a Policy Papers Series that aims at drawing from UNDP’s own experience and knowledge globally and from the expertise and capacity of their partner think tanks and academic institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean to promote a collective reflection on the response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 health crisis and its economic and social effects on society.

Furthermore, The economy of the pandemic and social protection in Latin America ​​is a group of experts that aims to exchange ideas and knowledge about the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the countries of the region to support governments in the design of responses that protect people’s health and livelihoods and promote more significant equity.


The COVID-19 Data Futures Platform pulls together data from the UN system, nonprofit partners, academia, development partners, and countries worldwide. Interactive tools provide unique opportunities for data analysis, insights identification, and collaboration around strategies and solutions. 

The UN framework for immediate socio-economic response to support countries and societies in the face of COVID-19 includes five streams of work: 

  1. Health – Protecting health services and systems during the crisis.
  2. Protect People – Social protection and essential services.
  3. Economic Recovery – Protecting jobs, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the informal sector workers.
  4. Macro Response – A clear understanding of various channels of economic impact.
  5. Social Cohesion – Social dialogue and political engagement grounded on fundamental human rights.

The COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker monitors policy measures enacted by governments worldwide to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and highlights responses that have integrated a gender lens. It includes national actions directly addressing women’s economic and social security, including unpaid care work, the labour market and violence against women. UNDP coordinates the tracker with substantive leadership and technical contributions from UN Women. Co-created by both entities, it includes over 2,500 measures across 206 countries and territories.

In the particular context of the region, the United Nations Development Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean and GRANDATA joined forces to help governments and organizations in the area to combat COVID-19, creating a platform that facilitates the analysis of people’s movements outside their homes.


UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Its mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

The COVID-19 Population Vulnerability Dashboard offers data on population risk factors that can help governments prepare and respond to the pandemic and save lives. It provides decision-makers, experts and the public with access to information on populations at risk to target preparedness and response.

The pandemic has already severely disrupted access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services. It is worsening existing inequalities for women and girls and deepening discrimination against other marginalized groups. The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic UNFPA Global Response Plan offers an in-depth analysis of the situation. 

UNFPA reports regularly about the evolution of the pandemic and their response. The latest report for LAC is COVID-19 Situation Report No. 10 for UNFPA Latin America and the Caribbean. For a quick Regional Outlook, please check the Humanitarian Action 2021 Overview: Latin America and the Caribbean


UNICEF is present in 36 countries and territories of Latin America and the Caribbean through 24 national offices and a Regional Office based in Panama City. UNICEF promotes investment and public policies focused on childhood and adolescence

As the number of COVID-19 cases soars, so do the needs of children and their families. From delivering life-saving health supplies to building water and hygiene facilities to keeping girls and boys connected to education and protection, UNICEF is working to slow the spread of COVID-19 and minimize its impact on children worldwide. Find here how UNICEF is helping. 

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF works with global health experts to provide accurate information grounded in the latest scientific evidence. It offers explainers for parents and teachers and resources for media as new information becomes available. Visit the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) information centre page.

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a global collaboration to speed up the development, production and equal access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. 

Through the COVAX Facility – led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and CEPI – UNICEF is working with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses and freight, logistics and storage. In collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, they lead the procurement and delivery for 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries while also supporting procurement for more than 97 upper-middle-income and high-income nations. Together, these represent more than four-fifths of the world’s population.

UNICEF works to support countries to prepare their immunization programmes for this historic rollout. The infographic Preparing for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines could be of interest. 

The COVID-19 Vaccine Market Dashboard gives transparency and visibility to information on the COVID-19 vaccine market. In this first release, the tool provides an overview of the vaccines in the pipeline, their development stage and technology platforms. It also includes information on the global reported production capacity and publicly announced bilateral and multilateral supply agreements and price points. UNICEF offers publications and reports on COVID-19, as well as other topics.

World Food Programme 

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives, changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies, and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. 

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is disrupting the world as we knew it, with a heavy toll on human lives and economic activities. Its rapid global spread is threatening to affect millions of people already made vulnerable by food insecurity, malnutrition and the effects of conflict and other disasters. 

To minimize the impact of the epidemic on the 138 million people it intends to serve this year, WFP is adapting its planning to ensure they will continue receiving the assistance they need. You can find information on the work of the WFP by country.  Furthermore, WFP offers Covid-19 situation reports with updates on the program’s actions in response to the pandemic.

“A preliminary assessment suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic may add between 83 and 132 million people to the total number of undernourished in the world in 2020, depending on the economic growth scenario”. The pandemic’s impact in the fight against hunger is detailed in The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020, an annual flagship report prepared by FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO inform on progress towards ending hunger achieving food security. 


UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Up-to-date information and analysis are available on how and why gender matters in COVID-19 response. Several reports focused on the region are: 

More stories and publications on Latin America and the Caribbean: https://lac.unwomen.org/en/noticias-y-eventos/en-la-mira/in-focus-gender-equality-in-covid-19-response

UN Women and WHO joined forces to bridge the gender data gap and provide the latest available data on COVID-19 cases by sex and age. You will find more information in COVID-19: Emerging gender data and why it matters

An exciting resource is the List of gender-related COVID-19 resources by the UN entity (21-December-20). It covers a vast range of resources across agencies and regions. 

The Covid-19 and Gender Monitor is a compilation of indicators that will inform gender-responsive policy action on COVID-19. It is an inter-agency collaboration that has benefitted from ILO, ITU, UNCTAD, UNDP, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC, WFP, WHO and many others. Resources on Gender, and particularly on Gender and COVID-19, are available in the Resources Portal. Also, there are country profiles available.

By Indira Bermudez and Susana Cardoso

Source: UN Websites

The responsibility for opinions expressed in signed articles, studies and other contributions rests solely with their authors, and publication does not constitute an endorsement by the United Nations Organs of the opinions expressed in them. Reference to firms’ names and commercial products and processes does not imply their endorsement by the United Nations. Any failure to mention a particular firm, commercial product or methodology is not a sign of disapproval.”

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