COVID-19 Data Explorer: Global Humanitarian Operations Monthly Highlights, 31 March 2021

Publication language
Date published
17 Apr 2021
Multi-sector/cross-sector, Data, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Health, humanitarian action

The OCHA-HDX Data Explorer is now producing Monthly Highlights with the latest analysis on the pandemic in countries reflected within the Global Humanitarian Overview. Please find below the top highlights for March and issues to monitor in April on the COVID-19 pandemic in humanitarian settings.  

Top 5 highlights to know:

In March, more than 5.1 million new cases and 120,000 deaths were recorded in countries in the Global Humanitarian Overview – a 70% increase in cases and a 32% increase in deaths from February. Attribution is difficult, but the surge in cases and deaths could be explained by a combination of the spread of new variants, the lack of widespread access to vaccines, and the relaxation of and dwindling compliance with public health and social measures.

Ten countries with an inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) are experiencing a consistent rise in cases and deaths. Yemen experienced an 85% increase in reported cases and 39% increase in deaths over the previous month. Seven of the countries reported their highest case numbers and five countries their highest number of deaths since the start of the pandemic. Five countries have verified at least one Variant of Concern (VOC) and all ten countries border countries with verified VOCs.

Vaccines are being delivered to HRP countries, but in relatively small quantities. In March, COVAX delivered over 9.2 million doses to 11 countries bringing the total number of COVAX deliveries in HRP countries to 11 million. This is approximately 15 per cent of the 73 million doses that COVAX aims to deliver in the first round to HRP countries, which it aims to conclude by end of May. A further 3.6 million doses are estimated to have been donated by other countries to HRP countries or procured directly by national authorities in March.

Lower administration of vaccines remains a challenge in HRP countries. Based on available data, of the 21 million doses delivered in HRP countries only 3.5 million have been administered. As of 31 March, for every 165 people globally receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine only one person resided in a country with a Humanitarian Response Plan.

Since the start of the pandemic, the International Financial Institutions have provided $68.7 billion to 46 countries in the GHO.  Countries with a humanitarian response plan have received the least funding, with half receiving less than $23 per person.