- Global cases are currently rising, driven by the new and more transmissible Omicron variant. Cases in GHO countries increased in December for the first time in 8 months.
- Countries with an inter-agency humanitarian response plan (HRP) outside of Southern Africa, where Omicron was first identified, have yet to report significant surges. Due to the limited availability of testing in HRP countries, a large proportion of Omicron cases are expected to go undetected.
- A total of 96.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were delivered to 25 HRP countries in December 2021, the fewest doses delivered since September. COVAX delivered a record number of doses (61 million). Afghanistan received its first vaccine delivery since August, while the Central African Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Niger, and Venezuela received no new doses.
Issues to Monitor in Q1 2022:
- The spread and impact of Omicron in HRP settings, especially those countries with the lowest vaccination coverage. – Revised IMF World Economic Outlook on the impact of Omicron on the global economy, and specifically the forecasts for humanitarian settings. These numbers are expected to be downgraded, reflecting the impact of the Omicron variant.
- The Debt Service Suspension Initiative expired in December 2021, meaning countries which had debt repayment paused during COVID-19 now must resume servicing those debts on top of debt owed in 2022. This comes at a time when rising inflation is likely to increase interest rates, and therefore the cost of refinancing and borrowing.
- Security Council debate expected in Q1 to review progress on the delivery of vaccines in conflict-affected settings (as a follow up to resolution 2565).
- The supply of vaccines, including if booster doses impact global vaccine supply.
Updates to OCHA-HDX COVID-19 Data Explorer in 2022:
- The new Global Humanitarian Overview has been released, updating the lists of GHO and HRP countries. Data on these countries will be accessible on the HDX COVID-19 Data Explorer and they will be included in all analysis going forward. For the full list of changes, see the new Global Humanitarian Overview at gho.unocha.org.
- In 2022, highlights will be released quarterly, rather than monthly. Reports can still be accessed at the OCHAHDX COVID-19 Data Explorer and received automatically through email sign up. The first Quarterly Highlights will be released in April 2022.
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs