UN agencies issue urgent call to fund the global emergency supply system to fight COVID-19

<p>The heads of the United Nations&rsquo; major agencies have issued a warning of the risk of&nbsp;COVID-19 to the world&rsquo;s most vulnerable countries. International donors&nbsp;have pledged around a quarter of the US$2 billion
the UN requested in the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.unocha.org/sites/unocha/files/Global-Humanitarian-Response-Plan-COVID-19.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-auth="NotApplicable">Global Humanitarian&nbsp;Response Plan for COVID-19</a>&nbsp;in
March.&nbsp;<br /><br />Following is the text of the open letter:&nbsp;<br /><br />&nbsp;<br />Dear donor community,<br /><br />Humanity is collectively facing its most daunting challenge since the Second World War.&nbsp;COVID-19&nbsp;knows
no borders, spares no country or continent, and strikes indiscriminately. By&nbsp;all accounts, we are at least 12 months away from a vaccine.<br /><br />In this race against an invisible enemy, all countries must fight back,
but not all begin from the&nbsp;same starting line. In countries where the world&rsquo;s most vulnerable need humanitarian aid and&nbsp;supplies to beat back the pandemic, cancelled flights and disrupted supply routes hit&nbsp;disproportionately
hard. It is in everyone&rsquo;s interest to stop the virus from spreading unchecked,&nbsp;destroying lives and economies, and continuing to circle around the world.<br /><br />The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.unocha.org/story/un-issues-2-billion-appeal-combat-covid-19" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-auth="NotApplicable">UN Secretary-General on 25 March launched</a>&nbsp;the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian&nbsp;Response Plan, requesting US$2 billion to boost the global response.
You have been fast and&nbsp;generous in your funding and have extended lifelines to those who were already caught up in&nbsp;war, poverty and the worst effects of climate change &ndash; especially at a time when your own&nbsp;populations
are suffering from the impact of the virus.<br /><br />Around $550 million has generously been made available to implement the Plan so far, with&nbsp;significant additional resources being mobilized and pledged.<br /><br />The
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has also released $95 million to kick-start the&nbsp;COVID-19 response, help contain the spread of the virus, maintain supply chains, and provide&nbsp;assistance and protection to the
most vulnerable people, including women and girls, refugees&nbsp;and internally displaced persons. But more needs to be done.<br /><br />To get more deliveries off the ground, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is setting up
the&nbsp;vital logistics backbone that will help save lives and help halt the spread of the virus. WFP now&nbsp;urgently needs additional funding to establish the necessary transport hubs, charter vessels&nbsp;and provide aircraft
for cargo, health workers and other essential staff.<br /><br />All elements of the Global Humanitarian Response Plan are crucial and need continued&nbsp;funding, but without these logistics common services, the global response
could stutter to a&nbsp;halt. Now is not the time to slow down. No one is safe until everyone is safe.<br /><br />We, humanitarian organizations from across the world, therefore, call upon you to urgently&nbsp;support this
global emergency supply system with an initial $350 million to enable a rapid&nbsp;scale-up of logistics common services.<br /><br />These services, which WFP provides on behalf of the entire global humanitarian community,&nbsp;will
enable a swift, efficient response to COVID-19 for the most vulnerable people. Any delay in&nbsp;our action could undermine global efforts to bring the pandemic under control.<br /><br />The scale-up of the COVID-19 services
includes:</p><div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&bull; Establishing, equipping and managing international consolidation hubs and regional&nbsp;staging areas.</div></div><div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&bull; Air and shipping cargo services.</div></div><div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&bull; Passenger air services, with the necessary measures to avoid further spreading of the&nbsp;virus.</div></div><div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&bull; Medical evacuation services for front-line workers.</div></div><div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&bull; Infrastructure and construction of treatment centres.</div></div><div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&bull; Real-time remote data collection.</div></div><div><div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&bull; Critical investments required to safely deliver operations and services.</div></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>Whatever it takes, we as humanitarians are determined to meet people&rsquo;s urgent needs. The&nbsp;upscaling of the common services that we all depend on is crucial to enable us to meet these&nbsp;needs.<br /><br />Every human
being, in every nation around the world, is facing the same mortal threat. Every&nbsp;step that speeds delivery, saves lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented all of humanity&nbsp;with a unique challenge, and only a uniquely
global response can halt its forward march.<br /><br />Now is the time to step up together, to prevent needless suffering, and to fulfil the promise of a&nbsp;better future for all.<br /><br />We hope to hear from you soon.<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Mark Lowcock</strong>, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for&nbsp;Humanitarian Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Filippo Grandi</strong>,
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Refugee&nbsp;Agency (UNHCR)<br /><br /><strong>Ms. Henrietta H. Fore</strong>, Executive Director, United Nations Children&rsquo;s Fund (UNICEF)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. David Beasley</strong>,
Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Achim Steiner</strong>, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)<br /><br /><strong>Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus</strong>,
Director-General, United Nations World Health&nbsp;Organization (WHO)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Qu Dongyu</strong>, Director-General, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Ant&oacute;nio Vitorino</strong>,
Director-General, United Nations International Organization for&nbsp;Migration (IOM)<br /><br /><strong>Dr. Natalia Kanem</strong>, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)<br /><br /><strong>Ms. Michelle Bachelet</strong>,
High Commissioner, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner&nbsp;for Human Rights (OHCHR)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Gareth Price-Jones</strong>, Executive Secretary, Steering Committee for Humanitarian&nbsp;Response (SCHR)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Ignacio Packer</strong>, Executive Director, International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Sam Worthington</strong>, President and CEO, InterAction<br /><br /><strong>Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary</strong>,
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced&nbsp;persons, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)<br /><br /><strong>Mr. Jagan Chapagain</strong>, Secretary General, International
Federation of Red Cross and Red&nbsp;Crescent Societies (IFRC)</p>