Wednesday, December 6, 2023

UN secretary general: ‘Stand together or we will be doomed’

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The United Nations has called for an immediate “quantum leap” in funding to fight the new coronavirus as the death toll crossed 900,000 six months after the pandemic broke out.

“Either we stand together or we will be doomed,” the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres said, calling the virus the “number one global security threat.”

Guterres, urged countries to find $15bn over the next three months to fund the ACT-Accelerator programme, a global collaboration to hunt for a vaccine and treatments led by the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO).

More than 27.9 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and more than 906,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Some 18.8 million people have recovered.

“We need a quantum leap in funding to increase the chances of a global solution to get the world moving, working and prospering again,” he said.

He said the near $3bn contributed so far had been critical but $35bn more was needed to shift from start-up to scale-up – beginning with $15bn in the next three months.

He said typical aid budgets would not cover the costs, urging donors to “go deep” into money set aside for combating coronavirus.

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