As the number of confirmed cases worldwide is estimated to be 850,500 and over 41,000
deaths as reported by John Hopkins University, the pandemic doesn’t seem to slow down.
Countries all over the world are struggling to handle this crisis. The UN Secretary-General has, in light of the increasing number of cases, addressed the global community.
Antonia Guterres calls the COVID-19 Pandemic a Human Crisis
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the world regarding the epidemic and called it a ‘Crisis worse than the Second World War’ in a virtual report launch of a policy to tackle the socio-economic impacts and later consequences of this virus. He emphasized global cooperation and aiding the developing countries to handle the social impact as well as the economic recession which is bound to follow.
The UN Secretary-General stated that this was now a human crisis, worse than any we’ve ever seen before as it not only affects the population but also has had a dire effect on the global economy and that such a pandemic has not been observed in the 75-year history of the UN.
The economic impact is said to be unparalleled to anything the world has seen before and
without comprehensive fiscal and monetary policies, the world may never recover from the recession.
UN Report to Tackle the Crisis
Antonio Guterres, through a virtual launch, released ‘Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic’ Report on the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19. In the launch, he stated that this pandemic was not a health crisis, but a human crisis that has killed thousands of people all over the world.
“The combination of the two facts and the risk that it contributes to enhanced instability,
enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict are things that make us believe that this is, indeed, the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War and the one that needs a stronger and more effective response that is only possible in solidarity if everybody come together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake.” said the UN Secretary-General.
Financial Aid to Developing Nations
This report sought to analyze all aspects of the consequences of the virus to all countries and urges developed nations to extend aid to the developing nations.
The Secretary-General said that “coordinated, decisive, inclusive and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies – and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries”.
The IMF had also earlier released a statement regarding the global recession and the need for aid from all developed countries to increase their IMF Emergency Fund and lending capacity.
Antonio Guterres called for united effort from all member states to isolate and prevent the spread and transmission of the virus as well as increased testing and other facilities to deal effectively with the pandemic.
He highlighted in his speech that the developing nations who have a very weak medical sector and overall weak economy would be the worst hit by this human crisis.”Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world,” he said.
In terms of monetary help aside from the IMF Emergency Fund, $ 5 trillion has been mostly used by developing countries, which included a $2 trillion by the United States to support the expected hit to the economy.
The report urges the developed nations to aid the suffering countries in terms of the most vulnerable sections of the population at the time of such a crisis and that debt alleviation must be a priority in providing relief to the working sectors. He called for a large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive multilateral response amounting to at least 10 percent of the global gross domestic product urgently. He also announced the formulation of a COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to help the “efforts in low and middle-income countries’ and seeks to enable the respective governments to manage the pandemic and move quickly towards the road of recovery. Member states are also urged to formulate comprehensive policies, both fiscal and monetary, to tackle the extent and impact of the global crisis.
Further, he expressed grave concern for the thousands of people who are internally displaced as well as refugees and hopes that the developed countries would come to the rescue of such countries where conflict is already prevalent.
‘When we get past this crisis, which we will, we will face a choice,” the UN chief said, “we can go back to the world as it was before or deal decisively with those issues that make us all unnecessarily vulnerable to crises.” He believes that this pandemic would aid the global community in establishing greater societal and communication links and increase cooperation in the future.