Virtual Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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08-Apr-2020 00:28:14
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the most dangerous challenges this world has faced in our lifetime. It is above all a human crisis with severe health and socio-economic consequences.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General strongly condemned the heavy shelling of Al Khadra General Hospital in Tripoli, in the Libyan capital.

In Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the confirmed numbers of COVID-19 on the continent has risen to more than 10,000, with more than 500 recorded deaths.

Our colleagues in Asia, at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), say that COVID-19 is having far-reaching economic and social consequences for the region, with strong cross-border spillover effects through trade, tourism and financial linkages.

Tomorrow, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) will issue its Financing for Sustainable Development Report for 2020.

In a statement issued today, the head of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, said that COVID-19 virus is generating an unprecedented global economic crisis, with the economic destruction cruelly and unequally distributed.

In Venezuela, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, Peter Grohmann, said that the first shipment of 90 tons of UN lifesaving supplies is scheduled to arrive today to support the COVID-19 response.

In Nigeria, the UN is supporting the Government led-efforts in curbing the spread of the virus, where we today donated three ambulances to Lagos State, home to some 21 million people.

In Zimbabwe, the severe climate- and recession-induced hunger crisis is deepening the COVID-19 crisis.

And we have an update on operations out of the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Panama. The depot, managed by the World Food Programme (WFP), is the primary regional logistics hub responding to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is reiterating its call to all countries to facilitate the cross-border flow of goods, in particular food, to the maximum extent possible during the ongoing pandemic, and to make full use of existing trade facilitation standards.

UNICEF in Spain has delivered a first batch of medical supplies to the Spanish health authorities to support the fight against the pandemic.

The UNICEF and the Religions for Peace (RfP) coalition yesterday launched a global Multi-Religious Faith-in-Action COVID-19 Initiative.

And lastly, according to a new report issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to wipe out 6.7 percent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020. That is equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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