Our Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic poses a potentially enormous setback for the health of women, children and adolescents and it could reverse decades of progress in the poorest countries. The GFF is committed to doing its part to help countries protect essential lifesaving services as part of an effective COVID-19 response and recovery. Read more about the actions we are taking.

Protecting Essential Services for Women, Children, and Adolescents  

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates in low- and lower-middle income countries, there is a growing risk of widespread disruptions in access to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition services. 

Factors Affecting the Use of Essential Health Interventions during the COVID-19 Pandemic

New estimates from a modeling study, published in The Lancet, suggest that, if Covid-19 were to cause similar disruptions as the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, almost 1.2 million children and 57,000 mothers could die over just the next six months. This would represent a 45 percent increase over existing child mortality levels.  

Emerging evidence from GFF-supported countries shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is already halting delivery of essential health services such as ante-natal care visits, attended births, delivery of child vaccinations and access to family planning, which have been key drivers in recent global reductions in maternal and child mortality. A recent rapid survey of these countries conducted by the GFF Secretariat found that nearly half are already reporting life-threatening service disruptions.  

Announcement: The GFF’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The GFF Response

The GFF has a unique role to play in helping ensure that safe and equitable delivery of essential health and nutrition services for women, children and adolescents is a central part of an effective global COVID-19 response and recovery. 

At the global level, leaders of the GFF Investors Group have issued a call to action, to stop a potential secondary health crisis caused by widespread disruptions in lifesaving services. The GFF is strengthening collaboration with countries, donors, global and local civil society organizations, to ensure that this issue remains on the top of policy agendas.  

Press Release: GFF leaders warn of emerging secondary global health crisis from disruptions in primary health care due to COVID-19

At country level, the GFF is supporting its 36 partner countries to protect and maintain essential health services for women, children and adolescents in three ways:

  • Deploying core GFF capacities to support country prioritization and planning

  • Strengthening frontline service delivery

  • Addressing demand-side constraints

DATA AND KNOWLEDGE

The GFF has launched a series of dedicated COVID-19 webinars  to ensure continuous and needs-driven knowledge sharing and learning among GFF-supported countries and global partners. 

What is the impact of service disruptions in each GFF-supported country? What factors are affecting demand and supply of health services during the Covid-19 pandemic? These country briefs provide data and guidance for policy makers and practitioners on preserving essential health care services in a time of crisis to help sustain progress achieved over recent years.

Afghanistan

Guinea (Fr)

Nigeria

Bangladesh

Haiti (Fr)

Pakistan

Burkina Faso (Fr)

Indonesia

Rwanda

Cambodia

Kenya

Senegal (Fr)

Cameroon (Fr)

Liberia

Sierra Leone

Central African
Republic
 (Fr)

Madagascar (Fr)

Somalia

Chad (Fr)

Malawi

Tajikistan / Rus

Côte d’Ivoire (Fr)

Mali (Fr)

Tanzania

Democratic Republic
of Congo
 (Fr)

Mauritania (Fr)

Uganda

Ethiopia

Mozambique

Vietnam

Ghana

Myanmar

Zambia

Guatemala / Es

Niger (Fr)

Zimbabwe


Countries eligible for GFF support

Angola

Egypt

Laos

Solomon Islands

Benin (Fr)

Eritrea

Lesotho

South Sudan

Bhutan

Eswatini

Morocco (Fr)

Sudan

Bolivia / Es

Gambia

Nepal

Timor-Leste

Burundi (Fr)

Guinea-Bissau

Nicaragua / Es

Togo (Fr)

Comores

Honduras / Es

Papua New
Guinea

Uzbekistan / Rus

Congo (Fr)

India

Philippines

Yemen

Djibouti (Fr)

Kyrgyzstan / Rus

São Tomé
and Príncipe

 

IN THE NEWS

World Bank Blogs: The risks of a secondary health crisis for women and children: 3 things to know

Reuters: Women, babies at risk as COVID-19 disrupts health services, World Bank warns

Bloomberg: Virus Care Disruptions Raise Infant Death Risk in Poor Nations

The Telegraph: More than one million more women and children globally could die as pandemic diverts health services 

La Province: Coronavirus: risque d’une «crise sanitaire secondaire»

World Bank: COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the future of health financing: from resilience to sustainability

GFF: Netherlands Announces Additional Support for the GFF to Continue Essential Health Services in COVID-19 Response

Statement: GFF leaders warn of emerging secondary global health crisis from disruptions in primary health care due to COVID-19


DOCUMENTS

Brief: Emerging Findings and Policy Recommendations on COVID-19

Brief: The GFF’s Response to COVID-19

Guidance Note: The Role of Country Platforms in Maintaining Essential Services and Delivering on the Investment Case in the time of COVID-19 | ES | POR


USEFUL RESOURCES

Modeling the impact of COVID-19 mitigation on contraceptive needs

Lancet: Early estimates of the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and child mortality in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study

Operational Guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO)

Comprehensive list of guidance for maintaining essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic

GFF Webinars and Resources