The Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) used the oPt Humanitarian Fund to rapidly scale up response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In support of the Health Cluster Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, the HC initially allocated $1 million to WHO to rapidly procure critical health supplies essential to expand testing, tracing, prevention and treatment for COVID-19 cases. The first standard allocation from the fund tackled the outbreak and mitigated the effects of the pandemic, in the framework of the Inter-Agency COVID-19 Response Plan. Several projects have been subsequently topped up to sustain operations in quarantine centres in the West Bank and Gaza. More than $16 million has been allocated to strengthen the health components of the response and ensure the delivery of critical COVID-19-related activities across the different sectors. Timely and rapid allocations from the fund boosted the procurement of screening tests, personal protection equipment, hygiene kits, consumables and other critical supplies, provided essential non-food items and water in quarantine centres, and enhanced safe treatment of medical waste. The fund’s allocations have been essential in anticipating the wave of shortages of critical items experienced in the global markets, and they have helped tackle the spread of the virus.
WFP/ Wissam Nassar