UN humanitarian chief releases emergency fund for COVID-19 response

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26 00:37:39|Editor: huaxia

UNITED NATIONS, March 25 (Xinhua) -- UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock announced on Wednesday the release of 60 million U.S. dollars from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to kick-start a COVID-19 global humanitarian response plan.

This brings CERF's support to humanitarian action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to 75 million dollars, said Lowcock at the launch of the global response plan.

The new CERF allocation, one of the largest ever made, will support the World Food Programme to ensure the continuity of supply chains and transport of aid workers and relief goods; support the World Health Organization (WHO) to contain the spread of the pandemic; and help other agencies to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to those most affected by the pandemic, including women and girls, refugees and internally displaced people, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Lowcock heads.

Support will include efforts around food security, physical and mental health, water and sanitation, nutrition and protection, said OCHA.

OCHA will be coordinating the 2-billion-dollar COVID-19 global humanitarian response plan launched on Wednesday by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, together with Lowcock, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UN Children's Fund Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

The plan, targeting the world's most vulnerable countries, 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 prevention; and establish airbridges and hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to move humanitarian workers and supplies to where they are needed most, said Lowcock.