U.N. Agencies Launch Crowdfund For COVID-19, Warn Of Possible Food Shortages, Urge Countries To Uphold Human Rights In Responses

The Guardian: Coronavirus measures could cause global food shortage, U.N. warns
“Protectionist measures by national governments during the coronavirus crisis could provoke food shortages around the world, the U.N.’s food body has warned. Harvests have been good and the outlook for staple crops is promising, but a shortage of field workers brought on by the virus crisis and a move towards protectionism — tariffs and export bans — mean problems could quickly appear in the coming weeks, Maximo Torero, chief economist of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, told the Guardian…” (Harvey, 3/26).

The Lancet: WHO launches crowdfund for COVID-19 response
“For the first time, WHO is asking the general public and private donors for support. The project is a test run for the WHO Foundation, to be launched later this year…” (Usher, 3/28).

New York Times: Unprepared for the Worst: World’s Most Vulnerable Brace for Virus
“…As wealthy countries like the United States and Italy struggle with mass outbreaks of the coronavirus, international health experts and aid workers are increasingly worried that the virus could ravage the world’s most vulnerable people: the tens of millions forced from their homes by violent conflict…” (Beech et al., 3/26).

U.N. News: Human rights must be maintained in beating back the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘without exception’ — U.N. experts
“Dozens of independent U.N. human rights experts stressed on Thursday that in addition to public health and emergency measures, battling the COVID-19 pandemic, must respect the fundamental human rights of every individual…” (3/26).

Additional coverage of the U.N. and international response to COVID-19 is available from New Humanitarian, Reuters, and U.N. News.