UN Botswana COVID19 Response Newsletter April 2020
Apr 28, 2020
Everyone is talking about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and there are a lot of rumors and myths about it; including claims that COVID-19 does not survive in hot and humid climates. So it’s important to know what’s true and what’s not. Based on the facts provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the leading authority on scientiﬁc and public health information on the new virus, we are providing this bulletin to help you better understand what's happening and cut through the confusion.
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Sep 16, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over Nearly ten months after the new coronavirus ﬁrst emerged, the COVID-19 pandemic is “not even close to being over”, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned. Dr. Ghebreyesus called for renewed global commitment to save lives as cases surpass 10 million worldwide, with 500,000 deaths, and as the virus continues to spread. Botswana has witnessed a rise in local transmission cases since July 2020. The number of deaths has risen to 11. “We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is: this is not even close to being over”, Dr. Ghebreyesus said. He added “although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up. We’re all in this together, and we’re all in this for the long haul.”
Sep 11, 2020
Botswana has committ ed, at both the national and international levels, to establishing a Paris Principle compliant National Human Rights Institution by transforming the Oﬃ ce of the Ombudsman into a hybrid institution which would perform the functions of a human rights institution in addition to its current mandate to investigate maladministration. Institutions such as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are key to ensuring eﬀ ective national implementation of human rights obligations. NHRIs link the responsibilities of the State to the rights of citizens and connect national laws to regional and international human rights systems. The globally accepted international standards for the establishment and functioning of NHRIs are the “Paris Principles.” Paris-Principle compliant NHRIs are the cornerstone of national human rights protection systems and support Governments to meet their obligations to ‘respect, protect and fulﬁ l’ international human rights norms. The six main criteria that a national human rights institution must satisfy to be “Paris Principle compliant” are: 1. A broad mandate based on universal human rights standards; 2. Autonomy from Government; 3. Independence guaranteed by legislation or constitution; 4. Pluralism (diversity) including through membership and/or eﬀ ective cooperation; 5. Adequate resources; and 6. Adequate powers of investigation. Paris Principle compliant NHRIs can come in various forms, but are typically a Commission (eg a Human Rights Commission) or an Ombudsman with human rights mandate. Both models can be eﬀ ective and credible if the Paris Principles are satisﬁ ed. The Oﬃ ce of the President, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have therefore convened a two-day national symposium “A National Human Rights Institution for Botswana” in Gaborone, Botswana on 20 – 21 November 2018. The symposium is a consultative forum, which will bring together Government, civil society and private sector stakeholders.
Aug 13, 2020
This plan is also providing opportunities for the private sector as we move some of the existing programme into economic opportunities and away from labeled as social protection. The Social Protection Recovery plan is in two parts, with Part 1 covering the analysis of the impact of Covid-19 and the corresponding recommendation on how to build back better, while Part 2 is the action plan derived from the recommendations. If you want a quick read then Part 2 will give an overview. Findings and the Vision for Building Back Better The findings show that Botswana has been relying on a set of social assistance programmes that were established in the last century, when it was one of the poorest countries in Africa, and which are increasingly unsuited to its current status as one of the wealthiest, and in particular to its 21st-century aspiration to become a high-income country by 2036. As COVID-19 has shown so clearly, Botswana now faces other challenges than drought, poverty and HIV/AIDS, which were at the origin of its current range of social protection programmes; it now needs social assistance that is appropriate to its status as a leading country in Africa in terms of both economic and social development. The new paradigm will go beyond poverty reduction: it needs instead to build resilience, to redistribute wealth, to invest in all Batswana so that they can contribute to and share in the benefits of growth, and to build a new social compact between the State and its citizens. In common with other upper-middle and high-income countries, Botswana needs to consolidate a social assistance system that reflects the vulnerabilities of individuals throughout their lives, and leaves no-one behind. In summary: The new plan advocate for a “Life- course approach”” based on vulnerabilities, investing in infants as an investment for the future, building resilience, where the focus is not about graduating from any stage but that all citizens will need assistance depending on their vulnerabilities and whatever stage they are at in the life cycle.