Tag Archives: #COVID-19

A Taxing Problem

How to ensure the poor and vulnerable don’t shoulder the cost of the COVID-19 crisis
In the wake of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, tax systems should be reformed, and tax avoidance and evasion reduced, to ensure an economic recovery in which everyone pays their share, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF). More

 

COVID-19: Excluding people with disabilities leaves them without information that could save their lives

The importance of being informed about the coronavirus – from how to recognize the symptoms, to what to do to manage day-to-day life – is essential for all, and not to include people with disabilities is to leave them “without information that could save their lives”. More

An interview by UNIC Canberra for UN Radio

Secretary-General statement on gender-based violence and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold human suffering and economic devastation around the world.

I recently called for an immediate global ceasefire to focus on our shared struggle to overcome the pandemic.

I appealed for an end to violence everywhere, now.

But violence is not confined to the battlefield.

For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest.

In their own homes.

And so I make a new appeal today for peace at home — and in homes — around the world.

We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19. But they can trap women with abusive partners.

Over the past weeks as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence.

In some countries, the number of women calling support services has doubled.

Meanwhile, healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed.

Local support groups are paralyzed or short of funds. Some domestic violence shelters are closed; others are full.

I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19.

That means increasing investment in online services and civil society organizations.

Making sure judicial systems continue to prosecute abusers.

Setting up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and groceries.

Declaring shelters as essential services.

And creating safe ways for women to seek support, without alerting their abusers.

Women’s rights and freedoms are essential to strong, resilient societies.

Together, we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to people’s homes, as we work to beat COVID-19.

7 April 2020

New York

All hands on deck to fight a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic

Only by coming together will the world be able to face down the COVID-19 pandemic and its shattering consequences. At an emergency virtual meeting last Thursday, G20 leaders took steps in the right direction.  But we are still far away from having a coordinated, articulated global response that meets the unprecedented magnitude of what we are facing. More

Secretary-General’s remarks at launch of Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19

The world faces an unprecedented threat.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly covered the globe. It has spread suffering, disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy.

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.

These are places where people who have been forced to flee their homes because of bombs, violence or floods are living under plastic sheets in fields, or crammed into refugee camps or informal settlements.

They do not have homes in which to socially distance or self-isolate.

They lack clean water and soap with which to do that most basic act of self-protection against the virus – washing their hands.

And should they become critically ill, they have no way of accessing a healthcare system that can provide a hospital bed and a ventilator.

We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable – millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves.

This is a matter of basic human solidarity.

It is also crucial for combatting the virus.

The world is only as strong as our weakest health system. If we do not act decisively 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.

This is the moment to step up for the vulnerable.

Older persons, persons with chronic illness and persons with disabilities face particular, disproportionate risks, and require an all-out effort to save their lives and protect their future.

We are also aware of the heavy impact the crisis is having on the world’s women across many fronts, in particular losses of livelihood, increased burdens of unpaid care labour, and the heightened exposure to domestic violence.

Today we are launching a $2 billion global humanitarian response plan to fund the fight against COVID-19 in the world’s poorest countries.

Coordinated by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, this interagency plan brings together existing appeals from the World Health Organization and other UN partners, and identifies new needs as well.

Properly funded, it will save many lives and arm humanitarian agencies and NGOs with laboratory supplies for testing, and with medical equipment to treat the sick while protecting health care workers.

The plan also includes additional measures to support host communities that continue to generously open their homes and towns to refugees and displaced persons.

We need to act now to stem the impact of COVID-19 in already vulnerable humanitarian contexts.

And we need to maintain support for existing humanitarian response plans on which 100 million people depend.

If such funding is diverted, the consequences could be catastrophic: the further spread of cholera, measles and meningitis; greater levels of child malnutrition; and a blow to the ability of these countries to combat the virus.

Let us do everything we can to prevent COVID-19 from wreaking havoc in places with limited healthcare capacity and resilience.

At the same time, we are doing our utmost to plan for and respond to early recovery in the countries around the globe that will need it most so that we achieve a new sustainable and inclusive economy that leaves no-one behind. I have asked United Nations Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams to support countries around the world in addressing the socio-economic implications of this pandemic, [which] will require an adequate funding mechanism.

But now we need to support this humanitarian response plan, which is a necessity for global health security.

It is a moral imperative and in everyone’s interests.

And it is a crucial part of winning this fight.

I appeal to Governments to give it their full support.

Thank you.

New York

25 March 2020