From the UN’s appeal for $2 billion to fight COVID-19 to calls for ‘sweeping joint action’ from governments to respond to the pandemic

The UN has issued an appeal for USD $2 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, warning nations with weak health systems reeling from conflict, poverty will be unable to contain the virus without significant international assistance, putting everyone at risk.

Related: Opinion: Aid in the time of COVID-19 — 3 things donors can do now

 

UN Agencies, aid groups, and international experts say stringent new international restrictions on movement introduced in response to COVID-19 are threatening the lives of millions of people already caught up in humanitarian emergencies.

Related: Opinion: Spend what it takes to fight COVID-19 in poor countries, too

 

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has issued a call for sweeping joint action by governments to defeat the health, economic, and social threats of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic saying, ‘this is the third and greatest economic, financial and social shock of the 21st century, and it demands a modern, global effort akin to the last century’s Marshall Plan and New Deal – combined.’

Related: Gordon Brown calls for global government to tackle coronavirus

 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are calling on governments to suspend the collection of debt interest from developing nations to prevent a new debt crisis for the world’s poorest countries as the COVID-19 pandemic escalates.

Related: Opinion: How debt burdens could cripple Africa’s COVID-19 response

 

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says protectionist measures being taken by governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to food shortages around the world. FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero says that, though harvests have been good, a likely shortage of field workers brought on by the virus combined with government tariffs and export bans could severely restrict the flow of food.

 

World Bank President David Malpass says the Bank could deploy as much as USD $150 billion in resources over the next 15 months to help developing countries fight and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: World Bank, IFC look to quickly deploy COVID-19 funds

 

Scientists say the COVID-19 outbreak is a ‘clear warning shot’ to the world that humanity is placing too much pressure on the natural world and that failing to take care of the planet will have devastating consequences.

 

Though experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has derailed progress towards ending tuberculosis, some researchers of the disease have voiced hope that the global effort to fight COVID-19 could inspire world leaders to ramp-up efforts to end TB by 2030 once the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

 

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is facing criticism over its response to the COVID-19 pandemic with insiders calling it ‘disappointing’ and poorly communicated and observers saying the UK has not been living up its ‘development superpower’ reputation.

Related: COVID-19 reveals weak spots in NGO contingency planning