New York, Mar 27 (Canadian-Media): With the coronavirus spreading to all corners of the world, the United Nations is enlisting the help of creatives around the world in areas not yet overrun by the disease to avoid or minimize the outbreak, UN reports said.
UN's global call to creatives. Image credit: UN
The United Nations, in its ‘Global Call to Creatives: An Open Brief from the United Nations’, states that it needs help “translating critical public health messages into different languages, different cultures, communities and platforms, reaching everyone, everywhere”.
“We need to meet people where they are, with a stream of fresh, innovative content which drives home the personal behaviors and societal support needed today. We are equipping you with WHO-provided knowledge and messages to spread,” said the call to action.
The UN is launching this first-ever open brief to creatives everywhere to help spread the public health messages in ways which will be effective, accessible and shareable.
UN attorney general's message. Image credit: UN
It is not a single campaign, according to the document – the UN is looking for a multitude of creative solutions to reach audiences across different cultures, age groups, affiliations, geographies and languages. It is seeking those with imagination, ambition and ingenuity.
By reaching out to creatives around the world, the UN hopes to inspire creators, influencers, talent, networks, media owners and others who can take these key messages and bring their own magic to them – a creative twist, a cultural quirk, an interpretation which helps amplify them to audiences not yet reached.
The organization will work with media partners, and clients with media inventory, across social, digital, streaming, broadcast, print and radio to amplify the best of the creative community.
The UN called out six key areas of activation it hopes to hit with its ‘mini-briefs or episodes’: personal hygiene, social distancing, know the symptoms, myth-busting and do more, donate.
Each brief lists the areas of focus, inspiration, existing UN assets and the tone it would like creators to use. For instance, for physical distancing, it states maintaining a six-foot distance from others and having people stay at home. For inspiration, it lists balcony concerts, social distancing matches and a ‘Together, At Home’ concert series toolkit.
In concluding, it notes the formats needed – video, graphics, audio, activation and solidarity ideas – plus the platforms it will be spreading information and the languages needed.
“We plan to amplify and share the best responses to this brief as widely as possible,” states the brief. “We’re moving fast and we hope you can too. By following the WHO key messages and sharing them truthfully and effectively, you can help Flatten the Curve yourself.”
Those who want to join the effort are asked to fill out a form on Google Forms, or contact StrategyHub@UN.org.
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New York, Mar 26 (Canadian-Media): United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says solidarity and global action are 'crucial', UN reports said.
United Nations. Image credit: Faebook
Poorer countries need $2bn of international humanitarian aid to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said in launching a major donation appeal on Wednesday.
"COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity - and the whole of humanity must fight back," Guterres said in announcing the initiative. "Global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough."
Just last week, as the novel coronavirus spread to more and more countries, killing thousands and infecting many more, Guterres warned that unless the world came together to curb the spread, millions of people could die.
In recent days, Guterres has called for much stronger global coordination on the response to the pandemic.
In a Monday letter to the G20 group of leading economic powers, he pushed for a "war-time" stimulus bill "in the trillions of dollars" to help poor countries.
According to the UN chief, the plan "aims to enable us to fight the virus in the world's poorest countries, and address the needs of the most vulnerable people, especially women and children, older people, and those with disabilities or chronic illness", said Guterres.
If fully funded, "it will save many lives and arm humanitarian agencies and NGOs with laboratory supplies for testing, and with medical equipment to treat the sick while protecting health care workers", he added.
The amount of money sought by the plan is small compared to the $2 trillion that the United States Congress is poised to approve as a rescue effort for devastated US consumers, companies and hospitals as the world's largest economy grinds to a sudden halt.
The UN plan is designed to last from April to December - suggesting the world body does not see the health crisis abating any time soon.
The exact total of $2.012bn is supposed to flow in in response to appeals that various UN agencies, such as the World Health Organization and the World Food Programme, have already made.
Guterres said in parallel, humanitarian aid provided yearly by member states to help 100 million people around the world must continue.
Otherwise, he said, the coronavirus pandemic could lead to rampant outbreaks of other diseases such as cholera and measles, as well as higher levels of malnutrition.
"This is the moment to step up for the vulnerable," Guterres said.
As spelled out in an 80-page booklet, the UN plan will be carried out by UN agencies that work directly with nongovernmental organisations.
It will be coordinated by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, of the United Kingdom.
The money will be used for a variety of purposes: to set up handwashing facilities in refugee camps, launch public awareness campaigns, and establish humanitarian air shuttles with Africa, Asia and Latin America, the UN said.
The exact needs of some countries are still being identified.
The plan names 20 or so nations as deserving top priority for aid, including some enduring war or some degree of conflict, including Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Yemen, Venezuela and Ukraine.
But countries such as Iran and North Korea are also analysed in the booklet.
The plan foresees two general scenarios as to how the pandemic might evolve.
Under the first, the pandemic is brought under control relatively quickly as its rate of spread slows over the course of three or four months. This, the UN said, would allow for a relatively swift recovery in terms of public health and the economy.
But under the second model, the pandemic spreads quickly in countries that are poor or developing, mainly in Africa, Asia and parts of the Americas.
"This leads to longer periods of closed borders and limited freedom of movement, further contributing to a global slowdown that is already under way," said the UN.
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Washington, Mar 25 (Canadian-Media): To confront the unprecedented worldwide challenge posed by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, top UN officials on Wednesday, launched a massive humanitarian appeal to mitigate its impact, particularly on fragile countries with weak health systems, UN reports said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launches a COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan with Under- Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
Image credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten
At a joint virtual press briefing, Secretary-General António Guterres, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Lowcock, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, launched a $2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan, to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries in a bid to protect the millions most at risk.
‘Step up for the vulnerable’
Having gained a foothold in 195 countries with more than 400,000 reported cases and close to 20,000 reported deaths, COVID-19 is reaching more and more areas of the world grappling with conflict, natural disasters and climate change.
The UN chief stressed that a global approach is the only way to fight the coronavirus.
“COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back”, he said, underscoring that “individual country responses are not going to be enough”.
Assisting the “ultra-vulnerable” – the millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves – is not only “a matter of basic human solidarity” but also crucial for combating the virus, according to Mr. Guterres.
“This is the moment to step up for the vulnerable”, he stated.
Organized by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the interagency plan brings together existing appeals from WHO and other UN partners as well as identifies new needs.
Properly funded, it will save many lives and arm humanitarian agencies with laboratory supplies for testing and medical equipment to treat the sick while protecting health care workers.
“The plan also includes additional measures to support host communities that continue to generously open their homes and towns to refugees and displaced persons”, explained the Secretary-General.
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He closed with the somber note that if funding aimed to stem the impact of COVID-19 in already vulnerable humanitarian contexts is diverted, “the consequences could be catastrophic”.
Tipping whole regions into chaos The UN humanitarian chief warned that failing to help vulnerable countries fight the coronavirus now could place millions at risk.
Pointing out that COVID-19 has already upended life in some of the world’s wealthiest countries, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said that it is now reaching people living in warzones, with no soap and clean water and or hospital bed should they fall critically ill.
“If we leave coronavirus to spread freely in these places, we would be placing millions at high risk, whole regions will be tipped into chaos and the virus will have the opportunity to circle back around the globe”, he spelled out.
He acknowledged that countries battling the pandemic at home are “rightly prioritizing” their own communities, but added “the hard truth” that if they do not act now to help the poorest countries protect themselves, they would be failing to protect their own people.
“Our priority is to help these countries prepare and continue helping the millions who rely on humanitarian assistance from the UN to survive”, he said.
“Properly funded, our global response effort will equip humanitarian organizations with the tools to fight the virus, save lives, and help contain the spread of COVID-19 worldwide”, concluded the Humanitarian Coordinator.
To boost the response plan, Mr. Lowcock released an additional $60 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, bringing CERF’s support to the COVID-19 pandemic to $75 million. In addition, country-based pooled funds have allocated more than $3 million, to date.
‘History will judge us’As the pandemic continues to accelerate, the WHO chief said that “most worrying” of all, was the danger the virus poses to people already affected by crisis.
“The virus is now spreading in countries with weak health systems, including some which are already facing humanitarian crises”, said Mr. Ghebreyesus.
“People and communities that are already uprooted due to conflict, displacement, the climate crisis or other disease outbreaks are the ones we must urgently prioritize”, he underscored.
The agency head sent a clear message to all countries to “heed this warning now, back this plan politically and financially today and we can save lives and slow the spread of this pandemic”.
“History will judge us on how we responded to the poorest communities in their darkest hour”, he concluded, “Let’s act together, right now!”
‘Hidden victims’Meanwhile, UNICEF chief Ms. Fore, said that children are “the hidden victims of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Lockdowns and school closures are affecting their education, mental health and access to basic health services and raising the risks of exploitation and abuse.
“For children on the move or living through conflicts, the consequences will be unlike any we have ever seen”, she warned. “We must not let them down.”
Ms. Fore vowed that with support from the international community, among other things, we can “shore up preparedness and response plans in countries with weaker healthcare systems” and provide short- and long-term assistance on the health, well-being, development and prospects of children.