Secretary General António Guterres said that Ukraine needs support first, towards ending the war and helping the millions of people who have fled back home.
“Many developing countries have struggled to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic: record inflation; interest rates increase; unmanageable debt burden,” he said, adding that now,”they face skyrocketing food, energy and fertilizer bills. ”
With donor fatigue across the developed world, countries must come together, rich and poor, to find global solutions, “because this is a global crisis.” .
“No country can isolate itself from the downturn of the global economic system; from the domino effect of hoarding food or fuel; or the long-term effects of increased poverty,” he said.
Abundant resources, but deep inequalities, distribution and logistics logjlogs, mean Supply chains have been disrupted and better coordinated action is neededMr. Guterres added.
Access for all
“We need to remove the bottlenecks, stop hoarding and speculation, reform the financial framework, to allow those who need money to buy the essentials of their country to have access to resources. that capital – review the rules and eligibility criteria whenever necessary. Every country in need of assistance must be accessible. ”
It is the body of the Global Crisis Response Team, he said, made up of heads of state and government leaders, who have volunteered to assist.
“I am confident that this Steering Committee will provide the necessary direction and focus to our decisions… From vulnerability indicators to support strategies, We had many pieces in place. We need to reuse, extend, and build on them to create an efficient, coordinated system-wide response.. ”
Addressing the global impact of the war will require solidarity and unity, as we have seen in support for Ukrainian refugees, the UN chief said.
“We must seize this moment and move forward together.”
Tedros urges Russia to stop the war
Earlier in the day, briefing journalists in Geneva, UN health agency director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, say a month since Russia invaded Ukraine, the health needs of the people there are very serious, and are getting worse and worse.
Tedros, where the World Health Organization (WHO) was unable to send a humanitarian convoy because of the ongoing violence.
Other Ukrainian cities have received 150 tons of medical supplies from the WHO center in Lviv, western Ukraine, but access to many sites “remains blocked”.
Tedros issued an appeal to Russia to “stop the war”, before condemning the ongoing attacks on hospitals, patients and medical staff:
“WHO has now verified 64 attacks on healthcare since the start of the war and we are in the process of verifying further attacks. Attacks on health must stop. The health system, facilities and workers are not and should never be the target.”
He said that WHO also has concerns around the “integrity and safe operation of nuclear and chemical facilities.
“WHO is working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and We continue to urge all parties to reduce the risk of a nuclear or chemical accidentcan have catastrophic consequences for human health”.
Summarizing the latest global situation regarding the spread of COVID-19, he said the increase in COVID-19 cases continued, “due to major outbreaks in Asia and a new wave of in Europe”.
Several countries are now seeing the highest death rates since the start of the pandemic, he commented.
This reflects the absolute rate of Omicron variation and the higher risk of death for unvaccinated individuals.
“We all want to overcome the pandemic. But no matter how much we wish, this pandemic is not over. Until we achieve high vaccination coverage in all countries, we will continue to face an increased risk of infection, and emerging variants that evade vaccines.
Even as some high-income countries recommend a second booster dose, a third of the world’s population remains unvaccinated.
But he said there were some “promising signs” of progress.
In Nigeria, vaccine intake has increased significantly as supplies have stabilized and planning has been made on how to effectively distribute the vaccine, the WHO chief noted.
WHO will continue to push for the 70% immunization target for all countries, by mid-year, with priority given to healthcare workers, older adults and other at-risk groups.