The coronavirus pandemic is threatening the entire human race, the United Nations warned on Wednesday as it launched a humanitarian response plan featuring a $2 billon appeal for the world’s poorest people.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity — and the whole of humanity must fight back. Global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough”.
“This COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan aims to enable us to fight the virus in the world’s poorest countries, and address the needs of the most vulnerable people, especially women and children, older people, and those with disabilities or chronic illness,” said Guterres.
“We cannot afford to lose the gains we have made through investments in humanitarian action and in the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.
Earlier this week, Guterres appealed for an “immediate global ceasefire” to protect vulnerable civilians in conflict zones from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.
After Guterres’ call last week for a global response to the pandemic, which he said has put “millions” of lives at risk, the United Nations is expected to unveil on Wednesday a detailed worldwide plan for humanitarian relief, with the creation of a fund dedicated to the international fight against the coronavirus.
Guterres stressed the need for a coordinated global response to contain a “health catastrophe” that already has claimed the lives of more than 9,000 people and infected more than 217,500 around the world
Over 3,200 people have died and around 81,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus in China so far.
The UN plan is designed to last from April to December — suggesting the country does not see the crisis ending any time soon.
Among the most affected economies are the European Union ($15.6 billion), the United States ($5.8 billion), Japan ($5.2 billion), South Korea ($3.8 billion), Taiwan Province of China ($2.6 billion) and Vietnam ($2.3 billion). The trade impact for Indonesia is $312 million.
In terms of support for the global economy, Guterres said the focus should be on helping the most vulnerable: low income workers and small and medium-sized businesses.
The number of deaths around the world from the novel Coronavirus cases is slated to have crossed 19,000.