Humanity needs leadership and
solidarity to defeat COVID-19
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two. Since its emergence in Asia late last year, the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica. Cases are rising daily in Africa the Americas, and Europe.
Countries are racing to slow the spread of the disease by testing and treating patients, carrying out contact tracing, limiting travel, quarantining citizens, and cancelling large gatherings such as sporting events, concerts, and schools.
The pandemic is moving like a wave—one that may yet crash on those least able to cope.
But COVID-19 is much more than a health crisis. By stressing every one of the countries it touches, it has the potential to create devastating social, economic and political crises that will leave deep scars.
We are in uncharted territory. Many of our communities are unrecognizable from even a week ago. Dozens of the world’s greatest cities are deserted as people stay indoors, either by choice or by government order. Across the world, shops, theatres, restaurants and bars are closing.
Every day, people are losing jobs and income, with no way of knowing when normality will return. Small island nations, heavily dependent on tourism, have empty hotels and deserted beaches. The International Labour Organization estimates that 25 million jobs could be lost.
Every country needs to act immediately to prepare, respond, and recover. The UN system will support countries through each stage, with a focus on the most vulnerable.
Drawing on our experience with other outbreaks such as Ebola, HIV, SARS, TB and malaria, as well as our long history of working with the private and public sector, UNDP will help countries to urgently and effectively respond to COVID-19 as part of its mission to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and build resilience to crises and shocks.
“We are already hard at work, together with our UN family and other partners, on three immediate priorities: supporting the health response including the procurement and supply of essential health products, under WHO’s leadership, strengthening crisis management and response, and addressing critical social and economic impacts.” UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner
We have been supporting countries since the very early stages of this crisis, donating more than two million surgical masks and providing life supporting medical equipment such as x-ray machines, infrared thermometers, infusion pumps, protective suits, gloves and hand sanitizer.
UNDP is responding to COVID-19 pandemic in Armenia in the framework of the broader UN Multi-Sector Response.
The Coca-Cola Foundation partners with the United Nations Development Programme to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Armenia.
“COVID-19 is as much a health and development emergency as it is a human security crisis. In order to deliver on its mission of eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and building resilience to crisis and shocks, UNDP through various projects supports Armenia to urgently and effectively respond to COVID-19. In a long-term, collaboration with the private sector and our investments in innovative solutions will be critical to prevent and better manage such crises,” said Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.
While we do this, we must also consider ways to prevent a similar pandemic recurring. In the longer term, UNDP will look at ways to help countries to better prevent and manage such crises and ensure that the world makes full use of what we will learn from this one.
A global response now is an investment in our future.