In partnership with the University of Bahrain (UOB) and in collaboration with other UN agencies, UNDP Bahrain organized a webinar series under the main theme of the SDGs and COVID-19. The series was designed to highlight and raise awareness on the impact of the pandemic on various sectors of development. While the webinars largely focus on regional and/or global dimensions of that phenomenon, the ultimate objective is to provide knowledge to Bahrain, fostering discussions at the national level that can be informative and relevant to the local context.
The first webinar was held in August 2020, to give an overview of the impacts of COVID-19 and UNDP Global Response and attended by 110 participants. The webinar was conducted by Mr. Stefano Pettinato, Resident Representative of UNDP in Bahrain.
In September the webinar focused on the environmental impacts of SDGs and how we can respond to mitigate
climate change by presenting UNDP and UN Environment's response to the pandemic, followed by a discussion with insightful interventions among of the 70 participants. That webinar was led by Dr. Kishan Khoday, UNDP’s Team Leader for Nature, Climate Change and Energy in the Arab States region, and by Dr. Abdul-Majeid Haddad, Deputy Regional Director for the United Nations Environment Programme’s West Asia Office.
The following webinar, followed by over 140 attendees, was held in October and had speakers from UNICEF and UNESCO, who discussed the future of education and showcased newly developed pedagogic methodologies in face of COVID-19. The webinar was led by Mr. Danilo Padilla, Education Programme Specialist at UNESCO, and by Ms. Kimberly Parekh, Senior Education Advisor at UNICEF’s Gulf Area Office.
In November, Dr. A. Basel Al-Yousfi, the World Health Organization’s Representative to Bahrain a.i., and Director of the same organization’s Regional Center for the Environmental Health Action, led the webinar. He highlighted the direct and indirect health impacts of COVID-19. On this occasion, among the 70 attendees, a lively Q & A session followed, generating an informative discussion.
The series was well attended by an average of 100 participants per webinar, with different backgrounds, including from UOB faculty and students, United Nations entities, but also the private sector, Government, and other partners. The organizing entities, UNDP and UOB, agreed that the series should continue in 2021 to cover more issues and topics, as increasing evidence and knowledge emerges on the links between the COVID-19 pandemic and the SDGs.