UNICEF MENA CoViD-19 Situation Report No.1

31 March 2020

supplies being boarded unto a plane


  • A significant spread of the COVID-19 outbreak was recorded throughout the MENA region in the second half of March and is expected to continue over the coming weeks, requiring an increase in support to government-led responses. With the greatest concentration of pre-existing humanitarian needs for children in the world, countries in MENA facing conflicts, sanctions and/or political transition are at higher risk, including for vulnerable or displaced populations often living in overcrowded settings.
  • Throughout the region, UNICEF is working with line Ministries as well as WHO to establish, coordinate or reinforce national mechanisms for Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE). Messages aimed at reaching key audiences, influencers and at-risk groups are being translated and broadcasted to counter misinformation. In Jordan, in the last two weeks of March, 1.8 million users have been reached through social media, between 3.5 to 5 million users reached though WhatsApp and 1.5 million viewers are being reached daily through TV channel.
  • UNICEF is assisting Governments with the provision of critical medical and WASH supplies and activities related to the improvement of Infection and Prevention Control (IPC). In Iran, 16 metric tons of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were provided to health workers in March, and more supplies are in the pipeline. In Lebanon, UNICEF developed IPC training materials, conducted Training of Trainers (TOTs), and trained (with WHO) over 1,000 front-line workers in 192 Public Health Centres.
  • UNICEF is supporting Governments and partners in 7 countries in the production and dissemination of educational E-learning modules and broadcast materials for Radio, TV and online platforms, as well as guidance for parents on home-schooling and extra-curricular activities.
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