Development Health Advice 

Burkina Faso crisis and COVID-19 concerns highlight pressure on Sahel food security

Across the Central Sahel in Africa – encompassing Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – more than five million people face severe food insecurity ahead of the coming lean season, according to data released by WFP and other humanitarian partners. The number of food-insecure people in #BurkinaFaso is expected to triple in the next lean season. And with #COVID19 reaching Central Sahel, Burkina Faso has seen the largest number of deaths anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a crisis layered on top of a crisis. pic.twitter.com/lSKp352kc0 — World Food Programme (@WFP)…

Read More
Development Health Advice 

COVID-19: International community must step up to prevent pandemic from devastating vulnerable on the run

“An outbreak of a respiratory disease like COVID-19 could spread easily through the overcrowded confines and unsafe conditions typical of many camps or settlements”, Henrietta Fore said in a statement. “Families in these environments would be more likely to get sick and less capable of fighting off the disease because of inadequate services” She pointed out that there are 31 million children who have been uprooted from their homes, including over 17 million internally displaced, 12.7 million refugees and 1.1 million asylum seekers – all needing some form of assistance. …

Read More
Development Health Advice 

WHO concerned over rapid escalation in COVID-19 spread as caseload approaches one million

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there has been “a near exponential growth” in case numbers over the past five weeks, affecting practically every country, territory and area of the world. “As we enter the fourth month since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection”, he stated. Although Africa, Central America and South America have reported relatively lower numbers of cases, Tedros warned that the disease could have “serious social, economic and political consequences” in these regions. “It…

Read More
Development Health Advice 

UN launches COVID-19 plan that could ‘defeat the virus and build a better world’

“The new coronavirus disease is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods”, said Secretary-General António Guterres, pointing out that the potential longer-term effects on the global economy and individual countries are “dire”. The new report, “Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19“,  describes the speed and scale of the outbreak, the severity of cases, and the societal and economic disruption of the coronavirus. “COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” underscored the UN chief.…

Read More
Development Health Advice 

‘Immediate nationwide ceasefire’ needed for all-out effort to counter COVID-19 in Syria

“We need the kind of sustained period of calm that a nationwide ceasefire would ensure because we need cooperation to take place across the front-lines that riddle Syria’s territory – and this is needed not tomorrow, but now”, Geir Pedersen said in a videoconference with Security Council members. Years of conflict have degraded or destroyed the healthcare system, the UN envoy pointed out, stressing that that the virus does not care if you live in government-controlled areas or outside; “it endangers all Syrians”.  Given large scale population movements, dangerously cramped…

Read More
Development Health Advice 

Coronavirus necessitates global increase in protective equipment, medical supplies: UN health chief

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists in Geneva on Monday that he had spoken to trade ministers from the world’s leading economic forum, the G-20, about ways to address the chronic shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential medical supplies. “We call on countries to work with companies to increase production; to ensure the free movement of essential health products; and to ensure equitable distribution of those products, based on need”, Tedros said, placing specific emphasis on low and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The UN…

Read More
Development Health Advice 

Release inmates in Yemen to avert nationwide COVID-19 outbreak, experts urge

Despite calls from the UN Secretary-General and others for a global ceasefire during the pandemic, fighting has continued between pro-Government forces and Houthi rebels in recent days. In a statement, the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen, said prisoners and detainees in Yemen are particularly vulnerable – and at high risk of death – if the novel coronavirus emerges in overcrowded prisons and other detention facilities. Conditions in such places are “appalling,” it said, adding that the health system in Yemen is on the brink of collapse…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More