Development Health Advice 

COVID-19: UN donates quarter of a million face masks to NYC health workers

In a statement, Mr. Guterres said that the face masks are part of UN stocks, deemed surplus to requirements, and are currently located in United Nations facilities in New York. The UN chief praised medical professionals in New York City who, he said, have been working “courageously, selflessly, and tirelessly in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the boroughs,” in a reference to the five boroughs into which the City is administratively divided (Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island). Mr. Guterres went on to express his hope…

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Development Health Advice 

COVID-19: UN envoy hails strong Israel-Palestine cooperation

Mr. Mladenov’s comments were made during a telephone conversation with the other members of the Middle East Quartet, a body set up to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. It is made up of representatives of the European Union, Russia, the USA, and the United Nations.  During the call, which took place on Thursday, Mr. Mladenov gave a detailed briefing on the UN COVID-19 response plan, focusing mainly on Gaza, where there is a substantial risk of the disease spreading.  In a statement released on Friday, the coordination and cooperation established…

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Development Health Advice 

Critical work of UN ‘largely uninterrupted’, despite unprecedented challenge of COVID-19

In his welcoming remarks, the UN General Assembly President underscored the value of safety and solidarity in the face of a crisis that has affected practically every corner of the globe. “Although we are not sitting together, be rest assured that we are in this together”, said Tijjani Muhammad Bande. “We must lead by example. We must stay at home, abide by social distancing recommendations, wash our hands, and look out for one another”. Mr. Bande reported that thanks to technology, the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee was able to make…

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Development Health Advice 

Protect ‘healthcare heroes’ from COVID-19, urges UN rights expert

“Their tireless work and self-sacrifice show the best of humanity”, said Baskut Tuncak, Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes.  Hailing the healthcare workers as “heroes” who “must be protected”, he stressed that unacceptable shortages in critical protective equipment that can stop them from being infected, continue to plague nearly all nations battling the new coronavirus.  Moreover, low-income countries have even fewer resources, including the necessary protection for their healthcare providers.  “Public and private funds are urgently needed…

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Development Health Advice 

A sustainable global economy must arise once COVID-19 pandemic is reversed, UN chief tells G-20 summit

They will also expand manufacturing capacity to meet the huge and increasing demand for medical supplies, which will be made available at an affordable price and in the shortest possible time, pledged the leading economic powers. The UN Secretary-General, the world’s top diplomat, was among those taking part, stressing that “we are at war with a virus – and not winning it”. Make no mistake: #COVID19 anywhere is a threat to countries and people everywhere. The magnitude of our response must match the scale of the crisis. My remarks to…

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Development Health Advice 

Life-saving vaccinations must not ‘fall victim’ to COVID-19 pandemic – UNICEF chief

As health workers are diverted to support the response, “physical distancing is leading parents to make the difficult decision to defer routine immunization”, Henrietta Fore said in a statement on Thursday, adding that flight cancellations and trade restrictions have “severely constrained access to essential medicines, including vaccines”. “As the pandemic progresses, critical life-saving services, including immunization, will likely be disrupted, especially in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where they are sorely needed”, she stated, highlighting that children from the poorest families in conflict and natural disaster-affected countries were at…

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Development Health Advice 

Iraq: Top UN official calls on political leaders to confront COVID-19 pandemic and unite

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the country, issued a message on Thursday in which she also urged citizens to support Government efforts to halt further spread of the disease. “The people of Iraq have overcome such hardship in the past that I am confident they can weather this storm with solidarity and resolve. It is my sincere hope that political leaders will at long last recognize the urgency of the situation and come together in a spirit of national unity”, she said. Earlier this week, UN chief…

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Development Health Advice 

Helping migrant shipwreck survivors to deal with trauma

Sulayman*, an 18 year old from the North Bank region of The Gambia in West Africa, says that he will never forget what he saw, the day that he was caught up in a devastating tragedy: the ship he was travelling on sank off the Mauritanian coast, drowning at least 62 people who had left the country, in the hope of a better life elsewhere. One of the most distressing details for Sulayman, is the fact that other vessels witnessed the tragedy unfolding, but chose to do nothing. “There were…

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Development Health Advice 

Debt relief milestone in Somalia, as World Bank, IMF, call for global payment suspension in light of COVID-19 

James Swan, Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Somalia (UNSOM), said that by reaching the so-called “decision point” for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries’ Initiative (HIPC), Somalia has passed an historic milestone on its path to peace and prosperity.  “Achievement of the HIPC decision point is a major step forward for Somalia’s economic progress, allowing the country to advance towards its long-term objective of inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction,” he said in a statement.  “All Somalis can be proud of this achievement,” he added. …

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Development Health Advice 

G-20 summit provides chance to rally strongly against coronavirus threat: UN chief

In a letter to the members of the Group of 20 industralized powers (G-20), Antonio Guterres welcomed their decision to convene an emergency virtual summit on the pandemic, which has already affected health, education and economies worldwide. “COVID-19 will require a response like none before — a ‘war-time’ plan in times of human crisis”, he wrote on Monday. “The G-20 leadership has an extraordinary opportunity to step forward with a strong response package to address the various threats of COVID-19. This would demonstrate solidarity with the world’s people, especially the…

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