The response to COVID-19 saw YHF partners going the extra mile to boost intensive care unit capacity, increase testing capacity, conduct risk communication and community engagement and import key supplies and equipment. The response was particularly challenging because of the fuel crisis, shortages of funds for health workers and protective equipment and delays in importing supplies. This was further compounded by under-reporting of cases and a lack of adaptive behaviour to reduce transmission.
In August 2020, the Fund launched a Reserve Allocation, injecting $16.8 million into the COVID-19 response, which enabled the payment of hazard allowances to health workers and funded key response activities. At the time of the allocation, COVID-19 was threatening to further contract health services and exacerbate vulnerabilities. In addition, reports indicated that people were delaying obtaining treatment because of stigma, difficulty in accessing treatment centres and the perceived risks of seeking health care.
In addition to the dedicated allocation, more than 30 existing partners’ interventions were revised to introduce COVID-19 response activities, including the provision of personal protective equipment.