COVID-19: vulnerable countries among those where need is the greatest

Children at school learn how to wash hands carefully  Children at school learn how to wash hands carefully Mani Khaleghi/NRC

7 May 2020

During pandemic humanitarian sector will need up to $7 billion to halt the crisis

The world’s most fragile countries around the globe are disproportionately hit by the virus and need increased and long-lasting solutions to deal with the effects in the aftermath. Elder people, people with disabilities and women and girls must now be provided with particular help to face the crisis. “The effects of the pandemic could lead to a significant rise in conflict, hunger and poverty as well in looming famine”, UN Humanitarian coordinator warns and calls for urgent action. 

Already now the impact is felt with missing incomes and unemployment rising food prices and millions of children missing out school and also school meals as well as routine vaccination. In addition, the surveillance system of the spread of the virus, laboratory testing and health systems are particularly weak in developing countries, reports the World Health Organisation (WHO). Another challenging issue is that countries affected by conflict and other emergencies cannot rely on health service as their infrastructure might be destroyed. 

The lives of 71 million refugees and internally displaced people (IDP) worldwide are particularly threatened. 134 refugee-hosting countries have already reported local transmission of COVID-19. “If ever we needed reminding that we live in an interconnected world, the novel coronavirus has brought that home”, stated United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

To tackle the current humanitarian need globally, in April the UN launched the Covid-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan which is funded with 6.7 billion dollars to guarantee the survival of affected populations in 63 low and middle-income countries. “Humanitarian aid is not just a moral imperative; it is a practical necessity to combat the virus”, recalled UN Secretary General António Guterres.


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Author: Theresa Bender-Säbelkampf

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