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  • This project is funded by the European Union

    GLO.ACT COVID-19 CONTINGENCY AND MITIGATION PLAN

    Date: 31 MARCH 2020

    Target Period: Q2 April-June 2020

    Contents Background ............................................................................................................................................. 2

    Objectives ............................................................................................................................................... 2

    I. Ensuring staff safety and security ................................................................................................... 3

    II. Approach to COVID-19 contingency plan ....................................................................................... 4

    Known impacts .................................................................................................................................... 4

    Unknown impacts ............................................................................................................................... 5

    Practical questions for GLO.ACT adjusted planning ........................................................................... 5

    Ensuring business continuity and robust project management processes ........................................ 5

    III. Short term contingency plan (April-June 2020) .......................................................................... 6

    HQ and regional level workflows ........................................................................................................ 6

    Priority country level workflows by outcome ..................................................................................... 8

    Afghanistan ..................................................................................................................................... 8

    Bangladesh .................................................................................................................................... 10

    I.R. of Iran ...................................................................................................................................... 12

    Iraq ................................................................................................................................................ 14

    Pakistan ......................................................................................................................................... 15

    IV. Communicating creatively and effectively ................................................................................ 17

    Communication channels ................................................................................................................. 17

    Tools and practices being used ......................................................................................................... 17

    Communication and visibility ............................................................................................................ 17

    V. Risk mitigation: preparing for medium- and longer-term disruptions ......................................... 18

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    The management of GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East seeks to proactively identify workflows affected by COVID-19, inform on steps taken to protect project staff in line with UN management, and adjust and take steps to protect the continuity of project implementation given the new challenges.

    Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Evidence of local community transmission of the disease has been found in many countries across all regions.

    Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Muscle pain, sputum production, diarrhea, and sore throat are less common. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure.

    At the time of writing, the spread of COVID-19 was increasing exponentially with the current epicentre reported to be Europe on 13 March by WHO and then the United States of America, following outbreaks in China, I.R. of Iran, Italy. At the current date, there were more than 800,000 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and more than 38,000 deaths.

    Recommended measures to prevent infection include frequent hand washing, social distancing (maintaining physical distance from others), and keeping hands away from the face. The UN Secretariat has devoted a specific website for UN staff on the COVID-19 pandemic, including preventive steps and video messages from the Secretary General. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19 as of yet although several teams of scientists are progressing to human trials. Management involves treatment of symptoms, supportive care, isolation, and experimental measures.

    Most countries around the world have put in place restrictive measures to ensure that people stay at home to reduce and prevent transmission, including curfews/quarantines, banning meetings of more than 2-5 persons, enforcing movement restrictions with fines of persons who are leaving their homes for non-essential reasons, mandatory telecommuting for all but essential staff. International and domestic air travel has been severely restricted if not entirely limited in many countries and many borders have closed except to returning residents, who are then required to spend 14 days in isolation.

    Objectives The GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East team has been working to identify how best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic contingency, while also adapting current planning to mitigate future and as of yet, unknown impacts.

    While a mitigation strategy focuses on foreseeable risk and potential responses to minimize or reduce risk, a contingency plan sets out a response once an emergency or worst-case scenario is already underway and identifies how to respond to it.

    The main objectives of this short brief are to:

    1. Inform on measures already taken to protect GLO.ACT staff and personnel, following guidance of the UN and respective UNODC/IOM management, country and Regional Representatives and UN Country Teams/Resident Coordinators;

    2. Contingency Planning: Assess the impact of COVID-19 related disruptions and inform the donor, team members, senior management and partners of the short term (April-June 2020) contingency planning, identifying priorities for implementation which can be: i) delivered in

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infectious_disease https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_acute_respiratory_syndrome_coronavirus_2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_acute_respiratory_syndrome_coronavirus_2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outbreak https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Health_Emergency_of_International_Concern https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200131-sitrep-11-ncov.pdf?sfvrsn=de7c0f7_4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200312-sitrep-52-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=e2bfc9c0_4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_transmission https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symptom https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fever https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cough https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortness_of_breath https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myalgia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diarrhea https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sore_throat https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumonia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-organ_failure https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200314-sitrep-54-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=dcd46351_8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_washing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_distancing https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/info-for-un-staff https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiviral_treatment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palliative_care https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supportive_care https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolation_(health_care) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_research

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    an adjusted format reflecting new working and meeting arrangements; ii) propose alternative workflows that can be advanced during this period;

    3. Identify and promote alternative work and team arrangements to promote communication and well-being.

    During the 2nd quarter period (April-June 2020), GLO.ACT will be working on a risk mitigation strategy for the medium- and long-term risks of COVID-19 disruptions to be implemented from July onwards, while continuing to monitor and evaluate the evolving situation in our partner countries. UNODC’s Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section will also begin data collection and analysis including with GLO.ACT team regarding the impact of COVID-19 on TIP and SOM, including the likelihood of increased prevalence of both crimes and heightened vulnerability among some groups.

    I. Ensuring staff safety and security As UN organizations, both UNODC and IOM are bound to follow the common security and safety measures being put in place by UN management, in line with the host countries, which are adjusted to each duty station. GLO.ACT staff here refers to all regular staff, individual contractors, independent consultants, UN volunteers and interns.

    At the time of writing,