Published on October 21, 2022

UN agencies in Belarus join forces to respond to the crisis

A new component to support vulnerable groups of the population has started in the joint program of UN agencies in Belarus.

A new component to support vulnerable groups has begun in a joint program of UN agencies in Belarus to promote new financing instruments in the field of sustainable development.

The component aims to identify the impact of the current crisis in the region on vulnerable populations and will help develop recommendations for responses.

In addition to the areas of education, health and climate change, which the program is already working on, the new direction will focus on food security and agriculture, which are especially relevant today in the region. In addition, the component will include the impact of the crisis on families with children and the reproductive health of the population.

Each UN agency will contribute in different thematic areas.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus and with expert support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), will conduct a comprehensive study in the field of food security and agriculture. The results obtained will suggest new supply chains between farmers and large food chains. The study will help identify ways to improve the certification of organic farming products. In addition, together with organizations in the financial sector, UNDP organizes training events for farmers on planning new types of entrepreneurial activities.   

UNDP will also help develop recommendations for processing and supplying seasonal agricultural products to retail chains for farmers and rural entrepreneurs, relevant ministries. All these measures will contribute to the improvement of national programs in the field of food security.

UNICEF activities under this component of the program will be aimed at a comprehensive analysis of the impact of various internal and external factors and challenges, including rising world food prices, on income redistribution and the well-being of families with children. Based on the study, together with national partners, recommendations will be developed to improve social protection tools, accounting methodology, tax and budgetary policies in relation to families with children.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in partnership with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, will conduct a study on the potential impact of the crisis on the health system with a special focus on reproductive health, including further demographic projections with recommendations for cost-effective interventions to address reproductive health and infertility. It is planned to identify and describe ways to reform inpatient care, as well as analyze the possibilities of individual elements of digitalization in order to maintain the financial sustainability of the healthcare system in a crisis and achieve the SDGs in the field of public health. The studies will include an investment justification - a special tool,

UN Women will work with other participating agencies to ensure that the needs of women and men are taken into account when analyzing and developing recommendations for targeted responses to the food security and agriculture crisis in the region, as well as social protection, paying attention to families with children. Collaboration with national partners will provide entry points for integrating gender analysis and gender equality perspectives into program and budget planning.   

As a result of the implementation of the joint program, Belarus will have the technical capacity and tools to move towards results-based budgeting in the current crisis in the region. These tools will be tested in the areas of health, social services, natural resources and environmental protection, as well as agriculture and food security. The joint program has been implemented since 2021 with the support of the SDG Joint Fund.

The new component is being implemented as part of a joint program of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UN Women and the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus.