The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Latin America and the Caribbean in a context of low growth, marked inequality and vulnerability, growing poverty and extreme poverty, weakening of social cohesion and increasing expressions of social discontent.
Cases continue to increase in Latin America and are currently at or near the highest levels observed since the start of the pandemic in all countries.
Most countries in the region have weak and fragmented health systems, which do not guarantee the universal access needed to address the COVID-19 crisis.
The crisis is also having a considerable impact on women’s access to healthcare and, in particular, to sexual and reproductive health services. Lockdown measures enforced in countries have also led to a sharp increase in gender-based violence.
Contraceptives are expected to suffer shortages or stock outs by the end of this year.
Provision of PPE for providers of sexual and reproductive health care remains a challenge.
Disaggregated data collection on maternal deaths and COVID-19 as well as the number of infected pregnant women remains spotty, an important challenge for UNFPA and partners.
The pandemic is showing increased incidence among vulnerable populations, particularly indigenous people, afro-descendants, prisoners, migrants, and LGBTI people.
Urgent funding is needed to meet rising needs.