United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said the world was lagging in its coordinated fight against the coronavirus, as he launched a plan to address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
“This is the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War,” the UN chief told a virtual press conference.
This is because the disease represents a threat to everybody in the world and will bring on a recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past, according to Guterres.
“We are still very far from where we need to be to effectively fight COVID-19 worldwide and to be able to tackle the negative impacts on the global economy and the global societies,” he said.
He said all countries needed to follow the guidance of the World Health Organization to suppress the virus, noting there was a “tendency for each one to go its own way.”
“We are far from having a global package to help the developing world,” Guterres said, adding that “most of what was mobilized was by the developed world to support their own economies.”
He said the resources available to poor countries should be increased by expanding the capacity of the International Monetary Fund, and that there must be a focus on the most affected, including women and people in war-ravaged nations.
He announced the UN was establishing “a new multi-partner trust fund for COVID-19 response and recovery to support low and middle-income countries to respond to the emergency and recover from the socio-economic shock.”
Last week, the UN chief launched a 2-billion-dollar humanitarian appeal and called for a “wartime” stimulus bill “in the trillions of dollars” by the G20 group of leading economic powers to help developing countries.