U.N. SG Appeals For At Least $2B For Poor Countries’ Coronavirus Responses, Calls For Global Ceasefire; G20 Leaders Set To Meet Virtually To Discuss Pandemic

AP: In global fight vs. virus, over 1.5 billion told: Stay home
“With masks, ventilators and political goodwill in desperately short supply, more than one-fifth of the world’s population was ordered or urged to stay in their homes Monday at the start of what could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe…” (Geller/Hinnant, 3/24).

Foreign Policy: The Next Wave
“The United Nations is preparing to issue a major funding appeal for more than $1.5 billion on Wednesday to prepare for outbreaks of the new coronavirus in areas suffering some of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, including Gaza, Myanmar, Syria, South Sudan, and Yemen, according to diplomatic and relief officials familiar with the plan…” (Lynch/Gramer, 3/23).

Reuters: U.N. chief wants $2 billion to help poor countries combat coronavirus
“U.N. chief Antonio Guterres said on Monday the world body wants $2 billion to help poor countries combat coronavirus and warned that a massive, coordinated package would also be needed to deal with the pandemic’s social and economic impact around the world…” (Nichols, 3/23).

Reuters: G20 leaders to speak on Thursday about coronavirus, sources say
“Leaders from the Group of 20 major economies will convene a video conference on Thursday to discuss the coronavirus epidemic, multiple sources told Reuters, amid criticism that the group has been slow to respond to the global crisis. G20 finance ministers and central bankers agreed during a separate video conference on Monday to develop an ‘action plan’ to respond to the outbreak, which the International Monetary Fund expects will trigger a global recession…” (Kalin, 3/24).

U.N. News: COVID-19: U.N. chief calls for global ceasefire to focus on ‘the true fight of our lives’
“In an appeal issued on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urged warring parties across the world to lay down their weapons in support of the bigger battle against COVID-19: the common enemy that is now threatening all of humankind. ‘The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,’ he said. ‘That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives’…” (3/23).

U.S. News & World Report: Developing World Braces for Coronavirus
“…Roughly 3 billion people, nearly 40% of the global population, almost all in developing nations, lack ‘basic hand washing facilities,’ according to a joint study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations’ children’s agency, UNICEF. Many of them are unlikely to be able to afford hand sanitizer, either, although it is possible that governments and aid agencies may yet distribute this to vulnerable populations. That fact means that the toll of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, both in human suffering and economic output, could be truly catastrophic for some of the world’s poorest nations in Africa and Latin America if the virus takes hold there…” (Tegel, 3/23).

VOA: U.N. Chief Calls for Global Ceasefire in Face of Pandemic
“…As of Monday, there were more than 350,000 confirmed cases worldwide of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. More than 15,000 people have died. Guterres urged warring parties to silence their guns, end airstrikes, create humanitarian corridors, and open windows for diplomacy…” (Besheer, 3/23).

Wall Street Journal: Countries Roll Out Restrictions to Curb Coronavirus
“A growing number of U.S. states urged residents to stay home Monday as cases of the novel coronavirus surged past 40,000 in the country and more governments around the world announced nationwide lockdowns. … Meanwhile, governments in other parts of the world stepped up efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, as cases surged past 367,000 Monday and the number of deaths surpassed 16,000. The United Kingdom and South Africa announced nationwide lockdowns Monday, only allowing residents to leave their homes under specific, essential circumstances…” (Calfas et al., 3/23).