Wednesday, 01 Apr, 12.16 pm HW English

UN Chief Antonio Guterres Calls COVID-19 the Worse Crisis Since World War II

On Tuesday United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres while talking to reporters warned that the world is currently facing the most challenging crisis since World War II. This Pandemic is a threat t ever person in every country. This would bring recession in future 'that probably has no parallel in the recent past.'

While addressing media on the socioeconomic report the UN chief said the impact of COVID-19 is hefty. He said, 'There is also a risk that the combination of the disease and its economic impact will contribute to enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict'.

Guterres called for a much stronger and more effective global response to the coronavirus pandemic and to the social and economic devastation that COVID-19 is causing.

The secretary-general said to overcome from this everybody have to come together. In this time we cannot be doing politics as this is causing mankind. 'We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people's lives' the report read.

The report further added, 'But this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core'.

Guterres while talking to press said, The magnitude of the response must match the scale of the crisis large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive, with the country and international responses being guided by the World Health Organization.

He said we are still far away from where we need to be to effectively fight the COVID-19 globally and to be able to tackle the negative impact of this pandemic on the global economy and global societies. First, he said, many countries are not respecting WHO guidelines, with each tending to go its own way in dealing with the pandemic.

He further said, 'Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world'. It is essential the developed countries should immediately aid those countries which are less developed to enhance their health system and their response to stop the spread of this virus.

He elaborates, while USD 5 trillion has been mobilised, most of that money was by the developed world including USD 2 trillion in the United States to support their own economies from the consequences of the pandemic.

He further added, 'We are far from having a global package to help the developing world to create the conditions both to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic consequences in their populations, in the people that lost their jobs, the small companies that are operating and risk to disappear, those that live with the informal economy that now has no chance to survive'.

Guterres added, 'Massive support to the developing world is still required. The report also cites International Labor Organization estimates for 2020 that between 5 million and 25 million jobs will be lost, with a corresponding loss of between USD 860 million and USD 3.4 trillion in labour income. It also cited an estimate by the U.N. trade and development organization UNCTAD of a 30-40 per cent downward pressure'.

Guterres further said the establishment of COVID-19, Response and Recovery Fund to support efforts in low and middle-income countries, with the aim of swiftly enabling governments to tackle the crisis and promote recovery.

He conveys hope to receive a positive response from the international community to help vulnerable people which includes the tens of millions of refugees and internally displaced people, those who reside in the slums of big cities in the global south, and poor people in middle-income countries who are more numerous than in the least developed countries.

The secretary-general further added developed countries must massively increase the resources available to the developing world by expanding the capacity of the IMF to issue special drawing rights and enabling other international financial institutions to rapidly inject resources into countries that need them.

Guterres said he strongly supports an idea from French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at last week's summit of the Group of 20 major industrialised nations that there should be a G20 initiative to help Africa.

But, again, we must act quickly to make it happen, he said. If not, the African continent will have enormous difficulties in facing this challenge.

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