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UN unveils COVID-19 global humanitarian response plan

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Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has unveiled a $2.01b (an equivalent of N723.6b) COVID-19 global humanitarian response plan to fight the virus in poor countries, while addressing the needs of most vulnerable persons.

In a statement yesterday in Maiduguri, Borno State, Guterres said, “I appeal to governments to strongly support this plan. The global plan will help stem the impact of COVID-19 in vulnerable humanitarian contexts.”

He, therefore, urged donors and partners to support the programmes for the most vulnerable, including those carried out through UN-coordinated humanitarian and refugee response plans.

While lamenting diversion of funds, he warned that to divert funding from humanitarian needs at this time would create an environment in which cholera, measles, meningitis and other diseases would thrive.

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He pointed out that more children would become malnourished while violent extremism would take deeper hold, a development he said, could extend the breeding ground for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We cannot afford to lose the gains we have made through investments in humanitarian action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are doing our utmost to plan for and respond to early recoveries in countries around the globe that will need it most,” he stated.

He explained that response to early recovery would bring about a new sustainable and inclusive economy that would leave no one behind.

Guterres said he had asked the United Nations Resident Coordinators and Country Teams to support countries in addressing the socioeconomic implications of the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 global humanitarian response plan requires adequate funding mechanism from the United Nations. This is a moment for the world to come together to save lives and fight a common threat.

“The only war we should be waging is the war against COVID-19. The world faces a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations,” he added.

He restated that coronavirus was spreading human suffering, crippling global economy and upsetting people’s lives, adding that COVID-19 was threatening the whole of humanity and that humanity must fight back, as global action and solidarity remained crucial.

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