Virtual Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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01-Apr-2020 00:16:06
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Yesterday the Secretary-General launched a report on the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, noting that the world is facing an unprecedented test and that this is the moment of truth. With societies in turmoil and economies in a nose-dive, the Secretary-General stressed that we must respond decisively, innovatively and together to suppress the spread of the virus and address the socio-economic devastation that it is causing in all regions.

As of yesterday, OCHA has provided a combined US$78.8 million to COVID-19 responses. This includes $75 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund, with the rest coming from Country-Based Pooled Funds.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today said it is sending a first batch of equipment to more than 40 countries to help them use nuclear-derived technology to rapidly detect COVID-19.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said it is concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the quantity and quality of weather observations and forecasts, as well as atmospheric and climate monitoring.

Four UN entities – the UN Human Rights Office, the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Migration Agency and the World Health Organization, issued a joint statement calling on governments around the world to ensure equal access to health services for refugees, migrants and stateless people, adding that they should be fully included in national responses to COVID-19, including prevention, treatment as well as testing.

Staying on the topic of refugees, UNHCR has laid out a series of measures that are being taken in its field operations to help respond to the virus and prevent further spread.

In Libya, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that eight cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, as of yesterday. The ongoing clashes and the restrictive measures in the country due to the pandemic are hampering humanitarian access.

In Nigeria, the UN team there has mobilised $2 million to procure essential medical supplies.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Mission there said yesterday they helped free 38 civilians, who had been abducted by the ADF rebel group in the vicinity of Mayi Moya, just 40 km north of Beni.

The joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for refugees and migrants from Venezuela, Eduardo Stein, today said that while COVID-19 has brought many aspects of life to a standstill, the humanitarian implications of this crisis have not ceased.

The Head of the UN Mission in Support of the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), Lt. Gen. Abhijit Guha, has expressed his grave concern about the increasing tensions in the Hudaydah area.

Of the 19 countries on the agenda of the UN office for children and armed conflict, boys and girls in Somalia have experienced among the highest levels of violence. A new report by Virginia Gamba paints a bleak picture – with close to 15,000 UN-verified violations committed against children between 2016 and 2019.

From Mali, the UN peacekeeping mission there reports that the tally of results for the first round of legislative elections held last Sunday is ongoing.

Two Member States have paid their regular budget dues in full. Our thanks go to Algeria and Kazakhstan, which brings us to a total number of 77.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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