NEW DELHI: As Kenya steps up its battle against the coronavirus pandemic with bans on all road, rail and air travel in and out of the capital, Nairobi, and three coastal regions, the United Nations is working closely with the Kenyan government to offer communication support to ensure no panic and that a positive narrative is built. More to the point, it is offering help and assistance in two refugee camps in the north-west where the danger of the coronavirus spreading is high. The camps house nearly 200,000 refugees who had fled the violence and instability of Somalia and Ethiopia.
Speaking from Nairobi, United Nations Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee tells StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P.Revi that the UN is in lockstep with the government in the fight against the corona pandemic. He said the UN is helping strengthen the emergency operations centre, and providing support in laboratory management, case management, surveillance and in resource mobilisation. He said the UN will issue a flash appeal on April 9 to mobilise resources to support the government. 40 UN Staff have been deployed to support the Government of Kenya to bolster its capacities. An additional 35 UN volunteer health workers have been deployed to support the Government of Kenya’s health facilities.
Siddharth Chatterjee is an Indian Army veteran who served in the Special Forces. He has a master’s degree in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He previously served as Kenya Representative in the UN Population Fund, was Chief Diplomatic Head of Strategic Partnerships and International Relations at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva and Chief of Staff to the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Iraq.