UN Chief launches $2 bn humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 26, 2020 Published on March 26, 2020

File Photo of United Nations chief Antonio Guterres.   -  Reuters

“COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back”

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday launched a $2 billion global humanitarian response plan for the world's poorest countries. Emphasising how the global coronavirus pandemic is a threat to the whole of humanity, Guterres urged people to help fight back, especially in regions where the population is already amid the crisis caused by conflicts and climate change.

“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. 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,” he said. “If we do not take decisive action 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,” Guterres further said.

The repose fund is coordinated by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The plan includes existing appeals from the World Health Organization and other UN partners, along with new needs for funds. The plan also includes additional measures to support host communities opening “their homes and towns to refugees and displaced persons.”

The UN plan is designed to function from April to December, hinting that the overall crisis might last through the year. The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 4,16,000 people across the globe with the death toll surpassing 18,500 according to the World Health Organization.

Published on March 26, 2020
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