29 April 2020 - The Coca-Cola Foundation allocated a grant - $200,000 - to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in Uzbekistan. This grant’s purpose is to provide ventilators and other medical equipment as part of humanitarian relief efforts related to the COVID-19 crisis. And the United Nations Development Programme in Uzbekistan was entrusted to implement this mission on behalf of the Coca-Cola Foundation.
The first COVID-19 case in Uzbekistan was publicly confirmed on 15 March 2020. Since then the government enacted early measures and anti-crisis package which demonstrates a proactive and early approach to safeguarding well-being, incomes, livelihoods and the long-term potential of the economy. It also includes time-bound relief measures announced for businesses in affected sectors of the economy.
The joint UNDP and Coca-Cola Foundation work will support Uzbekistan’s health system capacity in the face of COVID-19 outbreak. Urgently needed equipment will be procured to ensure the best chance of survival for patients and will also contribute to establishing the country’s surge capacity to deliver testing services.
It is also expected that the Coca-Cola funding will make a significant input to sustaining the national and local public health capacity in long term perspective with the tools for the most accurate laboratory testing methods for detecting, tracking, and studying not only coronavirus but also other diseases at the very early stages.
UNDP is working with the Government of Uzbekistan so that it can better prepare to stop the spread of the virus by putting preventive measures into place; procuring medical supplies so that health personnel can better respond to a higher caseload, and we are working with partners to help governments in the recovery phase.
As it was stated by Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, “with WHO and our UN sister agencies, UNDP is working with governments on their most urgent health system needs and is ready to respond to recovery needs in countries around the globe”.
UNDP Uzbekistan has been cooperating with Coca-Cola Foundation since 2011. Five small-scale projects totaling $505,000 were funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation in the past. Those projects were successfully implemented in remote rural areas of the country including Samarkand, Navoyi and Karakalpakstan regions in cooperation with national agencies and organizations.
UNDP will further support the country to set up a multisectoral whole-of-society approach to face the challenges beyond the health sector, to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate the potentially devastating impact it may have on vulnerable populations and economies. Therefore, partnerships with private sector companies like Coca-Cola play an important role during the COVID-19 crisis by joining forces in supporting national responses.