Virtual Press Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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22-Jul-2020 00:25:22
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Today, the Secretary-General held separate calls with President Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev of Azerbaijan and with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia to express his ongoing concern over the hostilities that have been reported along the Armenia-Azerbaijan international border as well as prevailing tensions.

This morning, the Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, spoke by video message at the event entitled “Recover Better: Economic and Social Challenges and Opportunities”, which is a compilation of essays issued by the UN High-level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs.

On Yemen, a new report warns that economic shocks, conflict, floods, desert locusts and now COVID-19 are creating a perfect storm that could see the country return to alarming levels of food insecurity. Our colleagues at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) say that, so far this year, more than 100,000 people in Yemen have been forced to flee their homes.

In Kenya, our humanitarian colleagues indicate that since the first case of the virus was confirmed on 15 March, the pandemic has rapidly spread. There have now been more than 13,000 cases and more than 200 deaths in Kenya.

In Somalia, where there have been more than 3,100 reported cases with 93 deaths due to COVID-19, Adam Abdelmoula is coordinating the UN’s health, humanitarian and socioeconomic response to the pandemic with the government and our partners.

In Mali, our humanitarian colleagues warn us that there is a high risk of the virus spreading in the country as the healthcare system there has been weakened by conflict and insecurity. The country has 2,475 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 121 reported deaths.

A new research brief published today by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns that at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on early childhood education in their critical pre-school year as COVID-19 shuttered childcare and early education facilities.

Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University launched a COVID-19 Law Lab initiative. The joint project gathers and shares legal documents from over 190 countries across the world to help states establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic.

Tomorrow, I will be joined by Achim Steiner, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and George Gray Molina, the author of the forthcoming report entitled Temporary Basic Income: Protecting Poor and Vulnerable People in Developing Countries.

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