UNICEF and USAID extend partnership for Communication and Outreach in Support of COVID-19 Prevention and Vaccination

No one is safe, until everyone is safe

19 July 2021
UNICEF and USAID signing ceremony of the new agreement
UNICEF/2021/L.Maxhuni
UNICEF and USAID signing ceremony of the new agreement

Pristina, July 19, 2021 – Today, the UNICEF Office in Kosovo and USAID announced a $1 million partnership in support of communication and outreach efforts in Kosovo for COVID-19 prevention and vaccination.

The assistance will be aligned with the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) developed by the Ministry of Health and will increase knowledge and awareness around COVID-19 vaccines, promote key preventive practices, and encourage all citizens to seek vaccination.  Through evidence-based interventions and community engagement, the partnership will contribute to increased acceptance and uptake in COVID-19 vaccinations.  

As Lisa Magno, USAID Mission Director, noted in her remarks, “The best ways you can protect your families and yourselves from COVID-19 are to ensure you have access to accurate information, follow safety protocols, and get vaccinated. This partnership between USAID and UNICEF will help to ensure factual information reaches even Kosovo’s most hard to reach or marginalized communities.  COVID is a race against time; get your vaccine now.”

A recent UNICEF study shows that Kosovo’s low vaccination rate is due in large part to the high prevalence of misinformation surrounding vaccines. 

U-Report poll[1][2] conducted by UNICEF with young people in Kosovo shows that there is hesitancy among young people to get vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines. Only 40% of them reported that they would receive COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. This project will better inform Kosovo citizens about vaccines by engaging a team of professionals with specialized expertise in strategic communications, social media, behavioral and social sciences, and monitoring and evaluation to help craft targeted messages to fight misinformation surrounding vaccination.  Through raising awareness and giving citizens the information they need, the activity will mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

“We are grateful for timely and much needed support from the U.S. Government. Our efforts to fight the pandemic won’t stop until every child and every family in all communities in 38 municipalities are safe, with access to factual information and vaccines and in good health across Kosovo. We will work closely with partners to provide and communicate factually rigorous, scientifically informed and emotionally resonant messages related to COVID-19 and combat vaccine hesitancy. No one is safe until everyone is safe,” said Mr. Murat Sahin, UNICEF Head of Office in Kosovo.

UNICEF and USAID are committed to expanding the longstanding partnership between the two organizations, to support the Ministry of Health, and ensure accurate, timely, and effective information and communication around COVID-19 and vaccines.

[1] U-Report in Kosovo: Perceptions on vaccination and COVID19 vaccine acceptance (January 2021), UNICEF & NIPH

[2] DISCLAIMER: U-Report is designed as an anonymous online platform, and therefore data generated by U-Report polls should not be used to replace a nationally representative survey and its findings cannot be generalized as a representative data source of the targeted population.

Media contacts

Dafina Zuna
Head of Communications
UNICEF Kosovo Programme

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

Follow UNICEF Kosovo Programme on Twitter and Facebook