COVID-19 has hit Mali in the context of security crises. The country has been weakened by the resurgence of inter-community violence and a surge in violent extremism. For the first time, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has deployed 60 UN Community Volunteers. Their role? To fight misinformation and raise awareness about the pandemic and preventive measures. Find out more in the below video interview with Jo Scheuer, UNDP Resident Representative in Mali.
What is unique about UN Community Volunteers is that they are from the community. They know the community; they are embedded in the community; they know the community dynamics. [We had] the opportunity to use this 'instrument' and have a direct impact on communities. --Jo Scheuer, UNDP Resident Representative in Mali
The UN Community Volunteers reached 700,000 directs beneficiaries from Bamako, Mopti, Socoura, Fatoma and Sio. They roamed the streets, markets, and all public places, informing people about the COVID-19 pandemic and its preventive measures. They provided communities with the guidance to safely exercise their daily activities with less impact on their livelihoods.
Our experience with UN Community Volunteers, which was new for UNDP in Mali, has clearly shown advantages and potential. We see UNV as a key partner in the next few years of our new country programme. --Jo Scheuer