People simulating how to sneeze or cough into their elbows during a coronavirus prevention campaign supported by UNICEF and partners in Mushin, Lagos State, Nigeria (March 2020).
Photo: ©UNICEF

Global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19

UN warns that failing to help vulnerable countries fight the coronavirus now could place millions at risk; and launches a global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in 51 countries across South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

A USD 2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries was launched by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on 25 March 2020. It aims to protect millions of people and stop the virus from circling back around the globe.

COVID-19 has killed more than 16,000 people worldwide and there are nearly 400 000 reported cases, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) wrote on 25 March. It has a foothold across the globe and is now reaching countries that were already facing humanitarian crises because of conflict, natural disasters and climate change.

“COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back. Individual country responses are not going to be enough”, Guterres said.

The response plan will be implemented by UN agencies, with international NGOs and NGO consortia playing a direct role in the response. It will:

  • deliver essential laboratory equipment to test for the virus, and medical supplies to treat people;
  • install handwashing stations in camps and settlements;
  • launch public information campaigns on how to protect yourself and others from the virus; and
  • establish airbridges and hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to move humanitarian workers and supplies to where they are needed most.

The COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan will be coordinated by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It brings together requirements from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UN-Habitat, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).


More information at UNICEF website 

Download the Global Humanitarian Response Plan at the website of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 

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