Virtual Noon Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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07-May-2020 00:25:04
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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A short while ago, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, launched a $6.7 billion appeal and updated a global plan to fight COVID-19 in fragile countries.

Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will be releasing a statement on hate speech in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the Secretary-General welcomed the formation of the new Government of Iraq led by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Last night, we issued a note providing details of a roundtable that was hosted by the Deputy Secretary-General last Friday on different aspects related to debt vulnerability and COVID-19, which was also attended by more than 20 policy-makers, thought leaders and experts from around the world.

Today the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that world food commodity prices declined for the third month in a row during April.

Ahead of Mother’s Day, which is recognized in May in nearly 130 countries, our UNICEF colleagues said today that an estimated 116 million babies will be born under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said today that the measures implemented by governments to curb the pandemic have disrupted illicit drug trafficking routes by air.

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

Also linked to air travel, the number of international tourists could decline by as much as 80 per cent this year – that’s according to new data released by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

A bit of good news today: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that while deforestation continues around the world, it is happening at a slower rate.

In response to COVID-19, the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reported that earlier this week, UN peacekeepers donated various medical equipment, including personal protection equipment to the Municipality of Beit Lif, in South-Western Lebanon.

From Darfur, the UN Mission there, together with the Government and UN agencies, funds and programmes, have agreed to allocate nearly $2 million to support the Transitional Government of Sudan’s COVID-19 National Response Plans focusing on Darfur.

Regarding Libya, heavy shelling and armed clashes have continued in many areas of Tripoli, reportedly causing civilian casualties.

In Syria, we continue to be concerned by the impact of the virus on people across the country, many of them displaced and particularly vulnerable.

In Kenya, our humanitarian colleagues say that more than 233,000 people – half of whom are displaced – have been impacted by rains which have intensified in the past three weeks, causing death, displacement, flooding and landslides.

Our colleagues from the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic tell us that, yesterday, several armed soldiers from the country's Armed Forces demonstrated in Bangassou’s central market area. They were allegedly demonstrating against their chain of command for failing to relieve them from their 12-month assignment in the town.

The Secretary-General is sending warm wishes today to all who celebrate the Day of Vesak.

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