OHCHR / SUDAN COVID-19

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28-Apr-2020 00:03:08
The UN Human Rights Office on Tuesday expressed serious concerns about the crisis facing Sudan’s transition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that untold suffering awaits unless donors act fast. UNTV CH

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STORY: OHCHR / SUDAN COVID-19
TRT: 3:08
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 28 APRIL 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE

1. Exterior shot, Palais Wilson

28 APRIL 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Laurence, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“We are seriously concerned about the crisis facing Sudan’s transition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and believe untold suffering awaits unless donors act fast. Barely a year after the removal from power of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir, the promise of economic and social development, democracy, justice and peace is now being threatened by acute resource constraints on the Transitional Government of Sudan. These are being exacerbated by a combination of the practical effects of ongoing unilateral sanctions, the failure of international institutions to provide debt-relief, and a deficit of international support.”

FILE

3. Exterior shot, Palais Wilson

28 APRIL 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Laurence, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The tipping point could be COVID-19. Medical sources have warned there is a serious shortage of equipment and protective gear. As of 27 April, 275 people had been tested positive with COVID-19, 22 of whom have died.”

FILE

5. Exterior shot, Palais Wilson

28 APRIL 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Laurence, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Sudan’s health system is simply not equipped to handle an outbreak on the scale we have seen elsewhere in the world. There is only one way to prevent a humanitarian disaster, and that is for the donors to step up and extend a helping hand to Sudan.”

FILE

7. Exterior shot, Palais Wilson

28 APRIL 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Laurence, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“These issues have been compounded by the effects of Sudan still being on the US list of States sponsoring terrorism. In addition, Sudan is currently among the countries not eligible to access the USD 50 billion Trust Fund of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to assist countries to fight COVID-19.”

FILE

9. Exterior shot, Palais Wilson

28 APRIL 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

10. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Laurence, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“We believe Sudan will not be able to break out of this cycle of poverty and desperation unless it is freed from the impediments of sanctions which were imposed at the time of the previous government. This would enable Sudan to attract investment for its much-needed economic reforms, and to fully access funds available from the international financial institutions.”

FILE

11. Exterior shot, Palais Wilson

28 APRIL 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

12. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Laurence, Spokesperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Inequality, and economic and social grievances, were the main triggers of Sudan’s revolution last year. If these and other root causes are not addressed as a matter of priority, Sudan’s successful transition to achieving a durable peace remains a distant prospect.”

FILE

13. Exterior shot, Palais Wilson

STORYLINE:

The UN Human Rights Office on Tuesday expressed serious concerns about the crisis facing Sudan’s transition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that untold suffering awaits unless donors act fast.

Briefing journalists via video link, Jeremy Laurence spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said: “We are seriously concerned about the crisis facing Sudan’s transition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and believe untold suffering awaits unless donors act fast. Barely a year after the removal from power of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir, the promise of economic and social development, democracy, justice and peace is now being threatened by acute resource constraints on the Transitional Government of Sudan. These are being exacerbated by a combination of the practical effects of ongoing unilateral sanctions, the failure of international institutions to provide debt-relief, and a deficit of international support.”

In a letter to the UN Secretary-General on 8 April 2020, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok acknowledged that COVID-19 poses profound challenges to his country’s health system, economy, and society as a whole, and he sought financial and other technical support to tackle the pandemic.

“The tipping point could be COVID-19. Medical sources have warned there is a serious shortage of equipment and protective gear. As of 27 April, 275 people had been tested positive with COVID-19, 22 of whom have died,” said Laurence. “Sudan’s health system is simply not equipped to handle an outbreak on the scale we have seen elsewhere in the world. There is only one way to prevent a humanitarian disaster, and that is for the donors to step up and extend a helping hand to Sudan.”

Of Sudan’s population of 43 million people, nearly 2 million remain internally displaced as a result of conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile state. Most face dire conditions, living in camps or settlements, unable to meet their basic needs. Sudan also hosts more than 1.1 million refugees and migrants from other countries.

“These issues have been compounded by the effects of Sudan still being on the US list of States sponsoring terrorism,” Laurence said. “In addition, Sudan is currently among the countries not eligible to access the USD 50 billion Trust Fund of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to assist countries to fight COVID-19.”

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has recently urged the international community to do all it can to support the country in its transition, and during this time of serious need.

OHCHR’s spokesperson said: “We believe Sudan will not be able to break out of this cycle of poverty and desperation unless it is freed from the impediments of sanctions which were imposed at the time of the previous government. This would enable Sudan to attract investment for its much-needed economic reforms, and to fully access funds available from the international financial institutions.”

“Inequality, and economic and social grievances, were the main triggers of Sudan’s revolution last year. If these and other root causes are not addressed as a matter of priority, Sudan’s successful transition to achieving a durable peace remains a distant prospect.,” he said.
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