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Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 3 March 2022 - Moldova, Papua New Guinea

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Republic of Moldova

Quick update from the Republic of Moldova. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) team in the Republic of Moldova received its first humanitarian airlift for refugees fleeing Ukraine. About a quarter of the 8,000 thermal blankets received went to the border crossing point in south Republic of Moldova, where distributions began to refugee families with children and other vulnerable people. Thousands of people were waiting for entry to the country outside, under freezing temperatures and snow. Our colleagues say that more support is on the way, including sleeping bags, more blankets, tents, hygiene and baby kits, solar lamps and other necessary relief items. Over 136,000 refugees have entered the Republic of Moldova so far, according to UNHCR. And we are of course continuing to support the needs of women and children, with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) providing water, health and hygiene kits.

Papua New Guinea

Quick COVID update from Papua New Guinea, where our team there continues to support authorities as the country experiences a fourth wave of transmission. The country has reported to WHO 41,000 infections, including 638 deaths. Authorities have received nearly 1.3 million COVID-19 vaccines, of which nearly 300,000 got to Papua New Guinea via COVAX. We thank donors including Australia, China, New Zealand and the United States for donating those vaccines. Our team is working to boost vaccine uptake. To date, less than 5 per cent of the population 18 and above has been fully vaccinated and only one third of health workers have been fully vaccinated. Through the EU-UN Spotlight initiative, our team and local authorities are protecting women and girls from violence, a key challenge during this pandemic.