Brazil is the most affected country in the region with 28,320 confirmed cases and 1,736 deaths, followed by Peru with 11,475 cases and 254 deaths, Chile with 8,807 confirmed cases and 105 deaths, and Ecuador with 8,225 confirmed cases and 402 deaths.
Even where case numbers are low, the situation in many countries is concerning due to the low capacity of health systems to respond to the pandemic. PAHO/WHO foresees that the situation will deteriorate significantly in the next three to six weeks.
Most countries have declared a state of emergency, a humanitarian emergency or a public health emergency, introducing restrictions on international air travel, prohibition of mass gatherings, preventive social isolation, regulation of non-essential commercial activities, mandatory quarantines for foreign travelers, or nation-wide lockdowns.
Closures will exacerbate profound inequalities, put pressure on an already volatile political environment, and particularly impact refugees and migrants from Venezuela in host and transit countries of the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP).
UNFPA is working in humanitarian and development contexts with multiple countries facing humanitarian needs including Colombia, Haiti and Venezuela which have national Humanitarian Response Plans, plus 17 countries covered by the RMRP, which is currently being revised to adapt to COVID-19.
The UNFPA Crisis Response Team has been meeting regularly to identify needed support and promote sharing of experiences. Regional advisors and the humanitarian team are working with the respective SRH and GBV focal points in country offices to define UNFPA’s response, including reorientation of activities to adapt to COVID-19 across the spectrum of humanitarian and