Titled ‘Innovation Challenge Grants for Community-based solutions against COVID-19’, the funding is meant for implementation of community level solutions against the pandemic.
At an event that was held in Maseru on September 3, UNDP awarded seven grants to national partners in the private sector and civil society, amounting to between M100 000 and M500 000.
Through these awards, the grantee organisations will implement strategic community innovations that promote resilience, safeguard lives and livelihoods, enable enjoyment of individual and collective human rights and maintain social cohesion, UNDP explained.
Speaking at the handover event, UNDP Resident Representative, Betty Wabunoha said it is anticipated that the implementation of the grants will create real value for the communities, to generate lessons for the current and future crises and informing recovery strategies.
Ms Wabunoha said at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appeared remote that Lesotho will be affected by the pandemic in the way it has been today.
“About the confirmed cases, we are all concerned about the potential and recurring socio-economic implications at national and community level as a result of this pandemic,” she said.
She continued that the government guidance on the national response, made it easy to frame the UNDP offer that is focused on the Lesotho’s context and consistent to the UNDP policy offer for the COVID-19 response, ensuring readiness of the health system, response and crisis management as well as socio-economic recovery.
She also said the UNDP Lesotho has thus reprogrammed resources in existing projects and continues to mobilise additional resources and partnerships to meet some of the critical needs identified for the national response and mitigation strategies.
For her part, the deputy principal secretary of the Ministry of Health, Lesimole Moletsane said the contribution will go a long way in ensuring that Lesotho is well placed to adequately respond to COVID 19, adding that in these trying times, the true worth of international support and relationships is exemplified.
On behalf of the government she thanked the UNDP and all other partners in supporting the country in delivering health services to the community.