Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
– Financing for Development
– New Policy Brief on COVID-19 and People on the Move
– Burkina Faso
– El Salvador
– Climate Change
– Air Travel
– Financial Contributions
At the start of today’s Yemen Pledging Conference, the Secretary-General said that more than five years of conflict have left Yemenis hanging on by a thread, their economy in tatters, their institutions facing near-collapse. He also said that four people out of every five – or 24 million people in all – need lifesaving aid in what remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
We are in a race against time, the Secretary-General warned, as reports indicate that, in Aden, mortality rates from COVID-19 are among the highest in the world. He added that we must preserve the major humanitarian aid operation that is already underway – and the world’s largest – while developing new public health programmes to fight the virus and strengthen healthcare systems.
The Secretary-General said that aid agencies estimate they will need up to $2.41 billion to cover essential aid from June until December, and that includes programmes to counter COVID-19. Unless we secure significant funding, he added, more than 30 out of 41 major United Nations programmes in Yemen will close in the next few weeks.
Mark Lowcock, our humanitarian chief, told the pledging conference that COVID-19 rapid response teams are funded only until the end of June. Next month, he said, we could start winding down treatment for severely malnourished children. Support for cholera facilities will also start to reduce. Mr. Lowcock added that pledges will not save lives unless they are paid, and so far, most of the pledges made remain unpaid.
FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT
Today, the Financing for Development Forum’s second meeting brought together representatives from banks, funds and financial institutions to mobilize $1.2 trillion dollars in humanitarian and economic relief to developing countries reeling under the impact of the pandemic.
The Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, said it is important to find multilateral solutions to address the underlying fragilities that were exposed by the pandemic. She stressed that the UN’s focus is on developing countries.
Also participating in the meeting were the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, which are mobilizing $1 trillion – $175 billion and $13 billion respectively in COVID-19 relief. The multi-billion dollar Green Climate Fund, which has already suspended debt repayments for the next six months, is also being represented.