During the meeting, the UN agencies welcomed the measures the Government of Turkmenistan is taking to mitigate potential socio-economic impact of the pandemic in Turkmenistan and to reduce the negative impact of the global crisis caused by COVID-19 on the situation in Turkmenistan. In particular, measures on strengthening the health sector, reviewing the fiscal policy, supporting the SMEs, ensuring targeted social protection for vulnerable groups and transition to digital solutions were discussed.
The joint working group was established on 15 April 2020 as a follow up to the call by the UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, on world community to take urgent measures to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on people's livelihoods.
It involves the representatives of the national ministries and UN Agencies represented in Turkmenistan. The main goal of the WG is to coordinate and jointly elaborate measures informed by joint analysis on mitigation of possible socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups in the country.
“Studying and mitigating potential risks for vulnerable groups is especially important in light of the key principle of the Sustainable Development Goals of “leaving no one behind.” Indeed, vulnerable groups will be primarily affected by the negative socio-economic impact of the pandemic,” emphasized Ms. Elena Panova, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan.
The recommendations of the WG are also expected to guide the UN agencies to adapt their existing programmes as well as develop new initiatives to assist the Government of Turkmenistan in mitigating the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19.
The meeting participants agreed to continue the dialogue and that a series of bilateral consultations between the UN Agencies and relevant ministries will take place to review existing programs and develop possible joint initiatives to support the mitigation of socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the country. The next meeting of the WG is planned in the first half of June 2020.