UN Chief urges countries to enable provision of aid amid COVID-19- Spokesman

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 4: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging countries around the world to allow the provision of humanitarian assistance amid the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned that the coronavirus continues to spread at an alarming rate, including into countries where millions of people cannot easily access clean water, food, healthcare and shelter,” Dujarric said on Friday.

”The Secretary-General urges national authorities to work closely with UN Resident Coordinators and Humanitarian Coordinators to enable the provision of humanitarian assistance by the United Nations and by national and international non-governmental organizations,” he added.

Specifically, governments need to guarantee the protection of humanitarian personnel at the borders and in-country, but also ensure respect for their work and the designate aid workers as essential staff, Dujarric said.

The spokesperson added that Guterres also stressed the need to bring about a coordinated international response to the COVID-19 pandemic that would encompass vulnerable communities, including migrants, refugees and internally displaced individuals, as well as aid those who need help.