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  • 8:00 – 9:30 New York
  • 14:00 – 15:30 Geneva
  • Haoliang Xu

    Assistant Secretary General and Director of the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support

  • H.E. Kimura Tetsuya

    Ambassador of Japan to the United Nations

  • Hilde Hardeman

    EU, Foreign Policy Instruments

  • Zena Ali-Ahmad

    Resident Representative
    UNDP Iraq

  • H.E. Abdul Habib Zadran

    Deputy Minister for Finance, Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan, Deputy Chair

  • George Conway

    Deputy Director
    UNDP Crisis Bureau

COVID-19 and crisis contexts one year on: What have we learnt? How can we fast-track recovery?

Missed the live session? Watch event webinar here:

March 11 BREAKOUT Impact of COVID on SDGs

March 11 BREAKOUT Impact of COVID-19 on fragility in Iraq



Overcoming the Setbacks: Understanding the Impact and Implications of COVID-19 in Fragile and Conflict-affected Contexts 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fragility across high and low-income countries. Yet its impacts have reminded the policy community that not all countries are equal in their ability to withstand the pandemic’s shocks. Fragile and conflict-affected countries are generally more vulnerable to shocks from crises and less able to address critical impacts. Such impacts of the pandemic have exposed some of the toughest setbacks to peace and development in decades. This policy brief lays out recent findings on how the pandemic’s secondary impacts are affecting the economic, social, human, political, security and environmental dimensions of fragility to inform ongoing mitigation and recovery efforts.


Putting Fragility at the Center of Iraq’s Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Oil Crisis

In a post-COVID-19 Iraq, it will be impossible to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or an inclusive development trajectory without tackling the multiple dimensions of fragility in the country. The fragility landscape in Iraq is challenging at best with all dimensions scoring on the high end of the scale. There is a strong imperative to work across the humanitarian, development and peace (HDP) nexus with UNDP as Fragility Integrator, together with all stakeholders, to sustainably address priority drivers and their effects on the social contract and ensure no one is left behind. This policy brief provides recommendation of how to create the enabling environment towards a fragility-based post-COVID-19 recovery.



The unrelenting impact of COVID-19 reminds us why the United Nations Secretary-General calls the pandemic a “human crisis.” Our UNDP study shows that one billion people could be in poverty by 2030 – a quarter billion as a direct result of COVID-19. Hard-won pathways to peace and human mobility, progress on human rights and prosperous human development are being reversed in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, where three and a half million COVID-19 infections have been reported so far. The 30 countries with the highest infections include Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. Low capacity may mean actual infection and mortality rates are higher.

Beyond primary effects, UNDP has determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting crisis contexts hard across the economic, environmental, human, social, political, and security dimensions.

This event – on the one year anniversary of WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic – will investigate the wide-ranging impacts of the coronavirus on crisis contexts, and how this virus has dealt a devastating blow to those most left behind – both today, and in terms of their hopes for a better future. Through debates and breakout deep-dives, the event will examine the results of initial rapid action to limit the fallout from COVID-19 and protect development gains, and will end with a call for urgent support to crisis contexts, so that they can kick start a resilient recovery.

More details on breakout groups:

Japan-funded COVID response in 29 countries – focusing on Libya:

The COVID-19 pandemic is a human security crisis. With financial support of USD 64 million from the Government of Japan, 29 UNDP country offices in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe and Central Asia have been fighting this human security crisis and mitigating its impacts on human development and for the progress of the SDGs. This breakout session will feature some of the best practices of those 29 country offices to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This session will also highlight the unique set up of the project which enabled close corroboration among UNDP’s Global Policy Network, the Digital Office of Executive Office, Regional Bureaux, Country Offices and the Japan Unit in the Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy. The Libya Country Office will present their experience in responding to COVID-19 in crisis contexts.

Impact of COVID-19 on fragility in Iraq

This breakout group will be used to launch the UNDP Iraq Policy Brief on Fragility in post-COVID Recovery. This brief has the central premise that fragility has to be central to post-COVID-19 recovery in Iraq if we are to catalyze an inclusive development trajectory that leaves no one behind. The brief will be presented and discussion will be opened about its policy recommendations.

Re-emerging on the Development Path: Lessons in fast-tracking data-driven recovery from COVID-19 through socio-economic impact assessments

This breakout session will present key lessons and challenges from the COVID-19 Recovery Needs Assessments conducted in nine countries. Building on a pre-existing partnership between the UN, EU and World Bank, COVID-19 Recovery Needs Assessments (CRNAs) provide a macro, meso and micro level analysis and develops prioritized recovery needs with costs under a coordinated and government-owned process.  The assessment ensures alignment of the development community behind one comprehensive government-wide recovery strategy which is converted to common planning and financing outcomes. The session will showcase the example of Ecuador assessments and its contribution to COVID-19 recovery. Participants will identify ways to strengthen partnerships for supporting COVID-19 recovery.

Speakers: Matilde Mordt, UN Resident Representative, Ecuador, Moderator Ronald Jackson, Head Disaster, Risk Reduction and Recovery Team, UNDP.

Impact of COVID on SDGs

This breakout session will present the second flagship report of the impact of COVID-19 on the SDGs using Pardee Centre’s International Futures modelling tool. Modelling futures to assess potential recovery scenarios are key to analyzing how the impact of the pandemic can play out under different scenarios and key development indicators. As a contribution to the Leave No One Behind principle of the 2030 Agenda, this report focuses on 69 countries in low and medium human development groups of the 2020 Human Development Index (HDI), a composite measure of a country’s health, education and standards of living. The study examines the benefits of the ‘SDG push’ scenario in accelerating progress towards achieving the SDGs in these countries.