Engaging with the Private Sector to face the post-COVID challenges

Source: WILPF

COVID-19 has put the whole world in a challenging situation. According to the 2020 World Bank Global Economic Prospects Report, the deep recessions caused by the pandemic are expected to leave long-term effects through lower investment, an erosion of human capital through lost work and schooling, and fragmentation of global trade and supply linkages.

Vulnerable populations such as women, girls and young people, have been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be the ones suffering the most future recessions. For instance, UNFPA estimates that 47 million women in 114 low- and middle-income countries will be unable to use modern contraceptives and a six-month lockdown is estimated in an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence. In this sense, the crisis highlights the need for urgent action to mitigate the pandemic’s health and economic consequences, protect vulnerable populations, and set the stage for a lasting recovery, with a strong focus on emerging markets and developing countries.

The current situation could critically undermine progress against UNFPA’s strategic vision. Delivering this vision implies the mobilization of additional unrestricted resources beyond the contribution of traditional donors, as many countries, including the EU, have reallocated public funding to crisis priorities, supporting the COVID-19 frontline. A clear example of this is the Government of the United Kingdom cutting approximately 85% of the funding to UNFPA Supplies for family planning.

In this context, the Strategic Partnerships Branch (SPB) of UNFPA is leading organization-wide efforts in fostering partnerships with non-traditional donors to leverage additional resources as set in the Strategic Partnership Framework 2018-2021.

To support those efforts, GlobalCAD has been engaged to assess the potential for private sector engagement and partnerships, especially in terms of resources mobilization, in the six different regions where UNFPA operates.   

The assessment will include a proposal of sub-regions and countries for UNFPA to prioritize for private sector partnerships, while analyzing the approach of similar organizations with successful private sector partnerships in these regions. A focus on key trends for private sector engagement in the COVID-19 recovery phase will led GlobalCAD assessment.

Rosario Uriarte
Rosario Uriarte
Rosario is a technical assistant at GlobalCAD. She has eight years of experience in the development field by doing programme design and management, sector and policy-oriented research, and multi-sectoral partnerships.