- Extremists using COVID-19 lock downs to intensify social media to recruit youths online. – Antonio Guterres
- New women-led UN initiative aims to save lives and protect livelihoods – conforms to campaign by Terrific Headlines on utilization of women & family units to solve social and criminal vices
- UN highlights the plight of the vulnerable 1.85 billion young women and men aged 10 to 24 in the world in 2020, 90 percent of them living in developing countries and many in conflict areas
- PEF The Steering Body of the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) Allocates US$195 Million to More than 60 Low-Income Countries to Fight COVID-19 – WHO DG
- WHO calls for more responsiveness by’ political leadership, including the vital role of parliaments — WHO DG.
- I have said since the beginning that the most important resource in the fight against COVID-19 is solidarity. Solidarity, solidarity, solidarity. WHO DG
This news must be of interest to parents, governments, and organizations with parental responsibilities. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has alerted the global community that extremist groups are taking advantage of COVID-19 lock downs to intensify social media efforts to spread hatred and recruit young people who are spending more time online. However, some youths elsewhere who think rationally are supporting the U.N it its efforts to combat the pandemic. Guterres specifically mentioned youths in Colombia, Ghana, Iraq and several other countries joining humanitarian workers in delivering supplies to front-line health workers and people in need, keeping communications open within communities while maintaining social distancing. He said young people are also supporting his March 23 call for a cease-fire in all conflicts in the world.
UTILIZING WOMEN: In a related development, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed has disclosed a new women-led initiative that mobilizes support to save lives and protect livelihoods. Briefing the media in New-York, Mohammed highlighted that ‘’collectively, we are dealing with “an especially severe blow” to developing countries, particularly those in humanitarian or conflict settings. “In the face of a sweeping threat of such historic magnitude, our collective response must be equally historic and urgent”, she said, launching Rise for All – a social and economic recovery initiative that brings women leaders together in calling the world to action and in support of the UN Response and Recovery Fund and Framework. While bearing the brunt of the pandemic, women are also on the frontlines, saving lives as first responders in hospitals, finding solutions as innovators and standing up to the crisis as political leaders. The latest development conforms to the UN’s Ensure availability of health services and health systems. UN Framework
WOMEN RISE FOR ALL: Meanwhile, Ms. Mohammed explained that the UN Framework complements existing UN efforts to support countries, including the health response led by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the humanitarian response detailed in the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan. Centered around five interconnected streams of work, it ensures a universal, country-sensitive response that conveys a “fundamental commitment to environmental sustainability and gender equality”, according to the deputy UN chief. “It reflects the call of the 2030 Agenda to build more resilient societies and a future that is sustainable, inclusive, and just”, she said. It aligns with the UN’s global package on the following:
Critical UN Framework pillars
- Ensure availability of health services and health systems.
- Provide social protection and basic services to help people cope.
- Protect jobs, support small and medium-sized enterprises, and the most vulnerable productive actors through economic recovery programmes.
- Guide fiscal and financial stimulus to make macroeconomic policies work for the most vulnerable.
- Promote social cohesion and invest in community-led response systems.
EXTREMISTS THREATS: Associated Press reports quotes Guterres as saying that ‘’Even before the coronavirus pandemic, he said, one of every five young people was not getting an education, training or working, and one of every four was affected by violence or conflict. And he lamented that every year, 12 million girls become mothers when they are still children. Guterres told a U.N. Security Council meeting on youth, peace and security that “these frustrations and, frankly, failures to address them by those in power today, fuel declining confidence in political establishments and institutions.“When such a cycle takes hold, it is all too easy for extremist groups to exploit the anger and despair, and the risk of radicalization climbs,” he said.
But despite these challenges, the U.N. chief said young people “are still finding ways to engage, support each other, and to demand and drive change” — including in the fight against COVID-19. Guterres pointed to young people in Colombia, Ghana, Iraq and several other countries joining humanitarian workers in delivering supplies to front-line health workers and people in need, keeping communications open within communities while maintaining social distancing. He said young people are also supporting his March 23 call for a cease-fire in all conflicts in the world.
On her part, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stated that over the next 12 to 18 months, the framework aims to guide action under the leadership of UN Resident Coordinators leading Country Teams, and WHO’s technical guidance and integrated programmatic responses of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
Response and Recovery Fund The UN Framework is aligned with the Secretary-General’s call for global solidarity and his COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which, launched earlier this month, seeks to mobilize $1 billion to support its first nine months of operation and $2 billion overall. “We need to move fast”, Ms. Mohammad warned, saying “normal development timelines, for donors and the UN alike, will simply not work”. Thanking the Member States who have contributed around $38 million to date, the deputy UN chief said that funding would be released in early May. “Yet, much more is needed”, she stressed, urging others to “contribute generously to this appeal and heed the call to action by women leaders rising in solidarity to ensure no one is left behind”. In closing, she maintained that the UN is fully committed to supporting people and Governments everywhere along the way. “Together, we will win the fight against COVID-19 and come out stronger,” concluded the Deputy Secretary-General.
Jayathma Wickramanayake, the secretary-general’s envoy on youth said there are 1.85 billion young women and men aged 10 to 24 in the world in 2020, 90 percent of them living in developing countries and many in conflict areas. “Young people are a huge source of new ideas, solutions and innovation,” Estonia’s U.N. Ambassador Sven Jürgenson said. “During the current pandemic, however, they can be among the greatest victims.” He cited estimates that an additional 42 million to 66 million children could fall into “extreme poverty” as a result of COVID-19 and an analysis from the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization showing that 91 percent of the world’s students are affected by school closures, and more than 1.5 billion students in 191 countries have trouble continuing their studies normally.
“This will lead to increased educational gaps, serious damage to the prospects for a better future and can potentially lay seeds of radicalization among young people, constituting a threat to peace and security,” Jürgenson warned. U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft added that the more than 400 million young people directly affected by violence or conflict are most vulnerable. “Now, the imperative to protect them is even greater: on top of social, education, and health systems that (are) already weakened by conflict or disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic is triggering multiple, interlinked crises impacting hundreds of millions of young people,” she warned. (We encourage readers to visit our websites – www.terrificheadlines.com, and www.couplesofvirtuesandvalues.com to assess our social development campaign on FAMILY VALUES & PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES. The campaign has been on for over 30 months.
THE STATE OF THE WORLD — WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 27 April 2020 — Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.
First of all, we’re pleased to have interpretation services available in Portuguese today, and I’d like to welcome all Portuguese-speaking journalists. The next will be Swahili and Hindi, and we will continue as WHO to invest in multilingualism, because our beauty is our diversity.
WHO remains committed to providing access to as much as information as possible, in as many languages as possible, and reach every corner of our world. I have said since the beginning that the most important resource in the fight against COVID-19 is solidarity. Solidarity, solidarity, solidarity.
The launch of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator on Friday was a powerful demonstration of that solidarity. WHO is deeply grateful to the many world leaders and partners who have come together to ensure no-one misses out on life-saving vaccines, diagnostics or therapeutics. We look forward to more countries and stakeholders supporting this global collaboration, this global movement. This initiative is a vital investment in the response, both for the short term and the long term. Diagnostics are helping us now to find cases and ensure people are isolated and get the right care. And we’re hopeful that the Solidarity Trial will shortly help us to understand which therapeutics are the most safe and effective for treating patients. But ultimately, we will need a vaccine to control this virus. The success in developing effective drugs and vaccines for Ebola reminds us of the enormous value of these tools – and the enormous power of national and international collaboration to develop them.
WHO played a key role in the development of the Ebola vaccine, and we’re doing the same for COVID-19. Developing a COVID-19 vaccine has been accelerated because of previous work WHO and partners have done over several years on vaccines for other coronaviruses including SARS and MERS. Although COVID-19 is taking a heavy toll, WHO is deeply concerned about the impact the pandemic will have on other health services, especially for children. Children may be at relatively low risk from severe disease and death from COVID-19, but can be at high risk from other diseases that can be prevented with vaccines.
This week is World Immunization Week. Immunization is one of the greatest success stories in the history of global health. More than 20 diseases can be prevented with vaccines. Every year, more than 116 million infants are vaccinated, or 86% of all children born globally. But there are still more than 13 million children around the world who miss out on vaccination. We know that that number will increase because of COVID-19. Already, polio vaccination campaigns have been put on hold, and in some countries, routine immunization services are being scaled back or shut down.
With the start of the southern hemisphere flu season, it’s vital that everyone gets their seasonal flu vaccine. Even when services are operating, some parents and caregivers are avoiding taking their children to be vaccinated because of concerns about COVID-19. And myths and misinformation about vaccines are adding fuel to the fire, putting vulnerable people at risk. When vaccination coverage goes down, more outbreaks will occur, including of life-threatening diseases like measles and polio.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has estimated that at least 21 low- and middle-income countries are already reporting vaccine shortages as a result of border closures and disruptions to travel. So far, 14 vaccination campaigns supported by Gavi against polio, measles, cholera, human papillomavirus, yellow fever and meningitis have been postponed, which would have immunized more than 13 million people. The tragic reality is that children will die as a result. Since 2000, Gavi and partners including WHO have helped vaccinate more than 760 million children in the world’s poorest countries, preventing more than 13 million deaths.
Gavi has set an ambitious goal to immunize 300 million more children with 18 vaccines by 2025. To reach this goal, Gavi will require US$7.4 billion in its upcoming replenishment. We call on the global community to ensure Gavi is fully funded for this life saving work. This is not a cost, it’s an investment that pays a rich dividend in lives saved. Just as immunization has been disrupted in some countries, so have services for many other diseases that afflict the poorest and most vulnerable people – including malaria.
As you know, Saturday was World Malaria Day. A new modelling analysis published last week estimates the potential disruption to malaria services from COVID-19 in 41 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In the worst-case scenario, the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could double.But that doesn’t have to happen, and we are working with countries and partners to support them to put measures in place to ensure that services for malaria continue even as COVID-19 spreads.
As lockdowns in Europe ease with declining numbers of new cases, we continue to urge countries to find, isolate, test and treat all cases of COVID-19 and trace every contact, to ensure these declining trends continue. But the pandemic is far from over. WHO continues to be concerned about the increasing trends in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries. As in all regions, cases and deaths are underreported in many countries in these regions because of low testing capacity.
We are continuing to support these countries with technical assistance through our regional and country offices, and with supplies through Solidarity Flights. In the past week, we have delivered supplies to more than 40 countries in Africa, and more are planned. Globally, WHO has shipped millions of items of personal protective equipment to 105 countries, and lab supplies to more than 127 countries. We will ship many millions more in the weeks ahead, and we’re preparing aggressively. Later this week WHO will launch its second Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, with an estimate of the resources needed for the next stage of the global response.
I would like to thank the People’s Republic of China, Portugal and Viet Nam for their recent contributions to WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. We’re also grateful to the more than 280,000 individuals, corporations and foundations who have contributed to the Solidarity Response Fund, which has now generated more than US$200 million. And I thank FluLab especially for its contribution of US$10 million. We have a long road ahead of us, and a lot of work to do. WHO is committed to doing everything we can to support all countries. But political leadership is also essential, including the vital role of parliaments. As a former parliamentarian, I fully recognize the big role that parliaments can play.
Tomorrow I will be participating in a webinar for parliamentarians hosted by WHO, the Inter-parliamentary Union, and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, to discuss the role parliaments can play to reduce risks, strengthen emergency preparedness and increase resilience. I continue to call for the world to come together in solidarity and national unity to confront this pandemic, but also to prevent the next one, and to build a healthier, safer, fairer world for everyone, everywhere.
But I repeat: national unity is the foundation for global solidarity. Solidarity, solidarity, solidarity – that’s what we will say every single day. If we’re not united the virus will exploit the gaps between us and create havoc. Lives will be lost. We can only defeat this virus through unity at the national level and solidarity at the global level.
About the PEF Steering Body: PEF operations are overseen by a steering body composed of donors (Australia, Germany, Japan), international organizations (including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Bank), and two IDA-eligible countries (currently Haiti and Liberia). Voting members of this body are Australia, Germany and Japan; the World Bank and WHO serve as co-chairs of the Steering Body and are non-voting members. FAO, IFRC, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP and WHO are the six accredited responding agencies of the PEF and can receive financing directly from the PEF to support countries with their immediate health response to outbreaks.