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UN and partners support Latin America and the Caribbean in COVID-19 response

01 Jun 2020

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Doctors and nurses raise awareness of COVID-19 during a house-to-house campaign in the Cuaricao neighbourhood of Caracas, Venezuela, 5 May 2020. Credit: OCHA/Gema Cortes

The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading across the 33 countries and 15 territories of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Nearly 938,000 cases and more than 49,000 associated deaths were reported as of Saturday across the region, surpassing Europe and the United States in daily infections. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the region is the new epicentre of the pandemic. 

In South America, more than 800,000 people have COVID-19 and there have been more than 38,000 deaths, with the most cases in Brazil, Peru, Chile and Ecuador.

The most affected populations include people in extreme poverty, rural populations, indigenous groups, populations on the move and informal sector workers. Women, who make up most of the informal sector labour force, are disproportionately impacted.

With dwindling production and purchasing power, more than 18.5 million acutely food-insecure people are at greater risk.

The United Nations has been supporting the Governments and civil society in the region through its different agencies, funds and programmes, including for the development of national response plans to the pandemic. 

In Venezuela, the UN and partners have provided COVID-19-related assistance to more than 1 million people since mid-March, mostly in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene.

In Colombia, more than 750,000 people have been reached since the end of April, mainly with health response.

In Haiti, the UN and humanitarian partners continue to support national authorities in strengthening health response capacity and disseminating awareness messaging while they continue to deliver critical life-saving support in other areas, particularly food.