In a statement released Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he feared the Covid-19 pandemic would exacerbate “existing inequalities” and exacerbate “hunger, malnutrition and vulnerability” in Africa.
If Africa responded quickly to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty and malnutrition threaten the continent. Millions of people “may fall into extreme poverty” with the pandemic, warned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement released Wednesday, May 20. He also called for increased “international solidarity” with this continent.
“The pandemic threatens progress in Africa. It will aggravate existing inequalities and increase hunger, malnutrition and vulnerability to the disease,” he added.
>> See our interview: “Antonio Guterres: with coronavirus,” we risk millions of deaths in Africa “.
A pandemic “in its infancy”
Antonio Guterres acknowledged that “so far the number of reported cases is lower than expected”. “The virus has killed more than 2,500 people in Africa,” he notes. According to him, the pandemic is “just in the beginning” in Africa, where “the disruptions can be intensified quickly”.
According to him, “African countries must have the same rapid, fair and affordable access to all future vaccines and treatments, which must be considered as global public goods”.
“It is important to show global solidarity with Africa – today and to recover better. It is important to end the pandemic in Africa, to end it worldwide,” he insists.
“Strengthen health systems”
In his recommendations, Antonio Guterres calls for “international mobilization to strengthen health systems in Africa, maintain food chains, avoid a financial crisis”.
There is also a need, he says, to “support education, protect jobs, keep households and businesses afloat and protect the continent from loss of income and export earnings”.
The Secretary-General believes it is important to give Africa “more than $ 200 billion in additional support from the international community”.
He also recalls “praying for a global debt framework, which begins with a general debt freeze in countries that cannot secure service.”