GENEVA / COVID-19 OCHA

17-Mar-2020 00:01:49
More than 100 million people around the world are relying on life-saving support from the United Nations and will continue to need this as the COVID-19 spreads, a spokesman of the UN Office for Humanitarian Coordination (OCHA) said at a press conference in Geneva today. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / COVID-19 OCHA
TRT: 1: 49
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 MARCH 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior, flag alley, Palais des Nations, United Nations Geneva
2. Wide shot, Press Room III, with four people visible in shot, including three on podium
3. Med shot, Alessandra Vellucci, Director of the Information Service at UN Geneva, with Jens Laerke, Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) sitting some distance away to her left. A projector screen indicating “UNIS GENEVA Bi-weekly Press Briefing” is shown to rear
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Deputy spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“The coronavirus pandemic now has a foothold in more than 140 countries. Some of these are countries that are already in humanitarian crises, due to conflicts, natural disasters and climate change.”
5. Med shot, podium speakers seated some distance apart
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Deputy spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“More than 100 million people rely on support from the United Nations humanitarian agencies. OCHA’s top priority is to ensure that we do all we can in order to keep providing life-saving help to those people.”
7. Close up, microphones, empty tables in background, podium speakers to rear, spaced apart from each other
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Deputy spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“From Geneva, we have dedicated teams which are looking exactly at these practical implications on humanitarian operations, on logistics, on supply chains, and so on and so forth. So, it is too early to tell you exactly what is going to be the fallout of this on our operations, but we are monitoring it very, very closely.”
9. Close up, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for OCHA, speaking into microphone at podium, other podium speakers to rear
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Deputy spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“The emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock has already released $15 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund to help fund WHO and UNICEF’s efforts to contain the virus in vulnerable countries. Other OCHA-managed funds in individual countries are also stepping up and country-based pool funds have released money to scale up immediate preparedness in Afghanistan, Sudan and Jordan.”
11. Med shot, UNTV camera in foreground and to rear, empty chairs
11. Wide shot, rows of empty chairs, podium speakers to rear
12. Close up, rows of empty chairs
STORYLINE
More than 100 million people around the world are relying on life-saving support from the United Nations and will continue to need this as the COVID-19 spreads, a spokesman of the UN Office for Humanitarian Coordination (OCHA) said at a press conference in Geneva today (17 Mar).

The Press was following the briefing remotely after Swiss authorities on Monday (16 Mar) imposed new measures to limit meetings to no more than five people, part of the coronavirus response in the country.

OCHA’s spokesperson Jens Laerke said that the UN’s top priority is to ensure that everything possible is done to keep providing life-saving help for these vulnerable people.

He said, “the coronavirus pandemic now has a foothold in more than 140 countries. Some of these are countries that are already in humanitarian crises, due to conflicts, natural disasters and climate change.”


Laerke also noted, “from Geneva, we have dedicated teams which are looking exactly at these practical implications on humanitarian operations, on logistics, on supply chains, and so on and so forth. So, it is too early to tell you exactly what is going to be the fallout of this on our operations, but we are monitoring it very, very closely.”

According to OCHA, it is working closely with the United Nations Member States and the private sector to ensure funding for the equipment is available to fight COVID-19 in the world’s most vulnerable countries.

The Spokesperson also said that the emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock “has already released $15 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund to help fund WHO and UNICEF’s efforts to contain the virus in vulnerable countries,” adding that ‘other OCHA-managed funds in individual countries are also stepping up and country-based pool funds have released money to scale up immediate preparedness in Afghanistan, Sudan and Jordan.”

The World Health Organization has appealed for $675 million to fund the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. UN agencies are currently assessing where and how humanitarian operations on the ground are being disrupted to identify solutions as quickly as possible.

The Spokesperson also noted that the Office is taking precautions to ensure the safety of staff and the people it serves, while helping to raise awareness among vulnerable communities to inform them of how to protect themselves from COVID-19.
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