UN: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic is the worst global crisis since World War II.
Guterres said the severity of the crisis was due to “a disease that poses a threat to everyone in the world and … economic impact will bring a recent recession that may be comparable to the past.”
“The combination of the two facts and the risk that it contributes to enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict are things that make us believe that this is the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War,” he told reporters.
The New York-based United Nations was founded at the end of the war in 1945 and has 193 member states.
“A stronger and more effective response… is only possible in solidarity if everybody comes together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake,” Guterres added.
More than 40,000 people have been killed so far as the disease spreads across the world, and causes economic devastation.
“We are far from having a global package to help the developing world to create the conditions both to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic consequences,” Guterres warned, pointing to unemployment, the collapse of small firms and vulnerable people in the informal economy.
“We are slowly moving in the right direction, but we need to speed up, and we need to do much more if we want to defeat the virus.”
Last week, the United Nations called for a new fund to help developing countries to donate to poor and conflict-affected countries.
Guterres said that in addition to the traditional aid provided by rich countries, “we need to have innovative financial instruments” so that developing countries can respond to the crisis.
He warned that outbreaks of the coronavirus could recur from poorer countries, especially poor ones in Africa, attacking richer countries again, and potentially killing millions of people.