PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR BUSINESS: How to Reduce the Impact of COVID-19 in ESAR

A mother is washing her child in the village of Korondougou, in the North West of Côte d’Ivoire.
UNI311996/Côte d'Ivoire/Frank Dejongh


The worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues to spread exponentially, driving up the numbers of infected people to over 267,000 in more than 184 countries to date. COVID-19 confirmed cases are also rising in Eastern and Southern Africa and time is of the essence to take the right measures to contain and slow down its spread.

In collaboration with the World Health Organization, governments and other partners, UNICEF is engaged in global efforts to address the outbreak and keep children and their families safe. In Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF will be supporting governments mainly on risk communication and community mobilization, infection prevention & control, as well as mental health and psychosocial support. UNICEF will also be ensuring critical support to essential health services, case management and related procurement and supply of equipment.

Although the virus presents greater risks to people aged over 65 and those with pre-existing weakened immune systems, it is important to keep in mind the secondary impacts the virus will have on children. As protective measures are taken, family incomes will be hit hard as their businesses are shuttered or they are confined at home, making it difficult to buy food or pay for basic healthcare. In countries where schools are shut, but parents still work, not only will children’s education be affected, but many may be left with inadequate or no care.

To protect customers, workers (referring to all workers, not only employees, to ensure that all staff are taken into consideration, and especially those most at risk, such as contract workers and informal workers) business partners, and communities from existing and future infections, the private sector has a key role to play in support of government efforts.

PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR BUSINESS: How to Reduce the Impact of COVID-19 in ESAR

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