UN launches COVID-19 global humanitarian response plan

7

United Nations, March 26 | UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday launched a $2-billion global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.

“COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity, and so the whole of humanity must fight back. Individual country responses are not going to be enough,” said Guterres at the launch, a virtual event, Xinhua reported.

“We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable — millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves. This is a matter of basic human solidarity.”

The response plan will be implemented by UN agencies, with international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and NGO consortia playing a direct role in the response, said Mark Lowcock, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

The plan will be coordinated by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which Lowcock heads.

The plan will deliver essential laboratory equipment to test for the virus, and medical supplies to treat people; install handwashing stations in camps and settlements; launch public information campaigns on prevention; and establish airbridges and hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to move humanitarian workers and supplies to where they are needed most, said Lowcock.

Guterres said the world faces an unprecedented threat as COVID-19 has rapidly covered the globe. “It has spread suffering, disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy.”

Wealthy countries with strong health systems are buckling under the pressure. Now, the virus is arriving in countries already in the midst of humanitarian crises caused by conflicts, natural disasters and climate change. These are places where people who have been forced to flee their homes because of bombs, violence or floods are living under plastic sheets in fields, or crammed into refugee camps or informal settlements.

Those people do not have homes in which to socially distance or self-isolate. They lack clean water and soap with which to do that most basic act of self-protection against the virus — washing their hands. And should they become critically ill, they have no way of accessing a health care system that can provide a hospital bed and a ventilator, said Guterres.

Helping the vulnerable people is crucial for combatting the virus, he said. “The world is only as strong as our weakest health system. If we do not act decisively now, I fear the virus will establish a foothold in the most fragile countries, leaving the whole world vulnerable as it continues to circle the planet, paying no mind to borders.”

Properly funded, the plan will save many lives and arm humanitarian agencies and NGOs with laboratory supplies for testing, and with medical equipment to treat the sick while protecting health care workers. The plan also includes additional measures to support host communities that continue to generously open their homes and towns to refugees and displaced persons, said Guterres.

The response plan asks for $450 million for the World Health Organization (WHO), $405 million for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), $350 million for the World Food Programme, $255 million for the UN Refugee Agency, $120 million each for the UN Development Programme and the UN Population Fund, $110 million for the Food and Agriculture Organization, and $100 million for the International Organization for Migration.

It asks for $100 million for NGO response.

Guterres appealed to governments for their full support to the humanitarian response plan, which, he said, is a necessity for global health security.

The plan is a moral imperative and in everyone’s interests. And it is a crucial part of winning the fight against the virus, he added.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore also joined Wednesday’s launch via video teleconference.

Source: IANS

Sponsors Posts

Covid-19 Lockdown : Greenwood High International School comes forward to help the needy

Covid-19 Lockdown : Greenwood High International School comes forward to help the needy

Bangalore, April 02, 2020 : The nationwide lockdown to combat Coronavirus outbreak in the country has led to severe difficulties for the poor and homeless people. In an effort to help the needy, Greenwood High International School, has come forward to do their bit to the cause. The school have undertaken the initiative to prepare food for 300 underprivileged families every day and distribute  in and around Sarjapur area with the help of Sarjapur police station. This would be a continuous support from the school authority towards the needy people until the lockdown ends. While distributing the food, the school authority also followed the social distancing norms and ensured that necessary precautionary measures like masks and gloves were used in the entire process to provide clean and hygienic food to the people.

Speaking on this initiative, Ms. Niru Agarwal, Trustee, Greenwood High said: “As much as we believe in inculcating the values of benevolence and philanthropy among our students, we practise these ourselves too. Greenwood High has always been compassionate to help those in need and we continue to do so. We are mindful of contributing to the society in multiple ways and are proud to leverage our sources towards such an important cause. Several NGOs, individuals and businesses are pitching in to help the citizens and government through various initiatives with the hope that humanity would survive these dreadful times of coronavirus onslaught. We believe that only by active collaboration between all the members of the society, we will be able to overcome the impact of this pandemic.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here