COVID-19: UN seeks financial Aid for poor countries

by Akeem Alao

In a bid to help poor countries combat the spread of Covid-19, the United Nations has solicited financial aid from developed countries, corporate organizations and individuals.

UN’s Chief, Antonio Guterres, disclosed this on Monday March 23rd that the world body would need $2bn to help poor countries combat the virus.

He stressed that a well-coordinated package would also be needed to deal with the social and economic impact of the pandemic around the world.

“The package needs to make households be afloat, make businesses be afloat, keep societies being afloat,” Guterres disclosed.

“This will require a double-digit of GDP support in the developed world and creating the conditions through the International Monetary Fund, through the swaps among central banks, through the creation of new facilities,” he noted.

So far, more than 351,00 people have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 15,330 have died.

The spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus has drawn comparisons with devastating periods such as World War II, the 2008 financial crisis and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

“We need a much stronger coordination,” said Guterres, adding that he had written to the world’s 20 largest economies – the G20 or Group of 20 nations – and would join their virtual meeting later this week.

That coordination would mean “making sure that not only the developed countries can respond effectively to the disease, but that there is massive support to the developing world not to let the disease spread like wildfire”, he added.

While promising to launch a $2bn humanitarian appeal on Wednesday, Guterres called for a global ceasefire so that the world can focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” Guterres said.

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