The United Nations raised its humanitarian aid appeal on Thursday from $2 billion to $6.7 billion to accommodate its all new, specially updated global plan to fight the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
UPI reports Mark Lowcock, the U.N.’s humanitarian chief, made the plea for yet more funding alongside announcing nine additional vulnerable countries have been included in the Global Humanitarian Response Plan.
The U.N. scheme was first announced by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in March, as Breitbart News reported, along with a demand for an end to global conflict.
Today I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 23, 2020
Since then the United Nations said $1 billion has been raised to support efforts across 37 fragile countries to tackle COVID-19, but more is needed urgently.
Benin, Djibouti, Liberia, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zimbabwe are now in the updated list, Lowcock said, joining U.N. programs designed to respond to the growth in food insecurity.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is hurting us all,” he said in a statement. “But the most devastating and destabilizing effects will be felt in the world’s poorest countries. In the poorest countries, we can already see economies contracting as export earnings, remittances and tourism disappear. Unless we take action now, we should be prepared for a significant rise in conflict, hunger and poverty.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said the caseload in most of the developing countries targeted for assistance in the U.N. appeal “may seem small, but we know that the surveillance, laboratory testing and health systems’ capacity in these countries are weak.”
“It is therefore likely that there is undetected community transmission happening,” he said.