UNISFA takes specific measures to combat and prevent spread of COVID-19

26 Mar 2020

UNISFA takes specific measures to combat and prevent spread of COVID-19

In view of the changing global situation relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) is taking the necessary steps to prevent its spread and gear up for any eventuality. UNISFA is keeping the situation under control and will continue to prioritize and implement its core protection of civilians mandate.

UNISFA has taken a number of mitigating measures. Firstly, the Mission has suspended travel for staff to and from Abyei Administrative Area effective 26 March 2020. The decision which applies to all personnel, except those whose travel is critical to the continuity of UNISFA’s operations will remain in force until further notice. Cargo flights will, however, continue to operate as usual. Secondly, the Mission has set up a dedicated COVID-19 taskforce team, to rapidly respond to situations, such as, among others, situations necessitating medical evacuation. It is also adapting its medical supplies.

UNISFA is also undertaking outreach and sensitization in the communities, reformatting meetings with community stakeholders, and keeping open all communication channels to ensure staff and key stakeholders within the area of responsibility are kept abreast of the situation.

UNISFA operates in a very critical environment and considers it a primary responsibility to best protect its personnel as well as the people it serves in Abyei from an outbreak and spread of COVID-19. As such, UNISFA supports all national-led efforts to prevent and prepare for COVID-19.

This is a very challenging time for all, including UNISFA staff who are outside the Mission dealing with the COVID-19 situation in their own countries, as well as those who are endeavouring to continue UNISFA’s work - protecting civilians and building peace. UNISFA will do its best to ensure regular updates on the COVID-19, on ways to protect its own staff and the communities.

In line with the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire during this period, UNISFA continues to facilitate inter-communal dialogue and reconciliation, albeit in a reformatted arrangement with community stakeholders. This is with the objective to encourage parties to come together urgently and resolve their differences with a view to dedicating all efforts to curbing the spread of COVID-19.