The ‘Pandemic’ there requires no introduction or explanation to what we’ve been experiencing for around two years. No sector has been left out from its wrath. Some are lucky enough to not get affected or get a quick recovery or to live, but others have lost lives, livelihood, and mental peace. It is still wreaking mayhem in all parts of the world in different intensities and the national and international governments and organizations are doing what they can to combat this deadly disease.
The world’s paramount intergovernmental organization, the United Nations is also fighting tooth and nail to subdue the effect of this pandemic on people. Through its agencies, the UN has been working on all aspects to bring an end to this. In September 2020, around six months after the worldwide spread, the organization has published a report, ‘United Nations Comprehensive Response to Covid-19’, in which they have detailed the measures taken, its impact, and guidelines to prevent future calamities.
The report starts by briefly explaining the ‘three-point response system’ which depicts the impact of all the measures taken by the organization segmenting it into three components. The foremost is the ‘health response’, that is the measures taken under the guidance of WHO, to ensure proper care to all communities, to create maximum awareness to reduce transmission and mortality rate, to develop vaccines and medications and make them accessible across the land. The WHO has issued a Covid-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) for 2020 and 2021 as well, which aims to implement the lessons they’ve learned from the past year of the pandemic. The objectives, key learnings, achievements, and progress of the response measures taken by WHO are given in SPRP 2020. Further, the UN has instituted a global collaboration, the ‘Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Acceleration’, which aims to hasten the development, production, and equitable distribution (accessibility and affordability) of COVID tests, treatments, and vaccines.
The next component entails the impact of the measures taken to ‘safeguard lives and livelihoods.’ It is certain that the pandemic has not only affected us physically but also economically, socially, mentally, and culturally. It has disrupted the global and domestic markets creating shortages, unemployment, and other setbacks, violating human rights, and further underlined inequalities. To tackle this, the organization has developed the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) to ensure the proper functioning of supply chains, timely delivery of public services and immediate care, accessibility to vital services, and economic sustainability of households and businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the world.
To help governments to handle the aftermath of the pandemic and to prevent such pandemics in the future the UN has issued policy briefs on 12 different aspects, from food security and nutrition, mental health, human rights, universal health, inequality, and education to people on the move, debt, tourism, jobs, cities, and socio-economic impact.
The last component is concerned specifically with the prevention of future pandemics. It emphasizes the need to scrutinize our current lifestyle and operations and its impact on the environment and humanity, and to adopt a more sustainable approach.
The UN Secretary-General has strongly urged for a global ceasefire and peace between countries at war to better facilitate humanitarian assistance across borders. It has issued a ‘global cell’ to end violence against vulnerable groups in society and has taken measures to stop the spread of misinformation among the masses.
The report elaborates on each of these components thoroughly through its course. It also provides information on the initiatives taken by each of its major and minor organs against the pandemic and has presented the financial data related to these measures.
The assistance of the United Nations and its major organs like WHO, FAO, UNICEF, etc. are essential to each country and it is this organization that has created diplomatic and peaceful ties among nations which is crucial during this time.
United Nations. “UN Response to COVID-19 | United Nations.” United Nations. Accessed July 14, 2021. https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/UN-response
World Health Organization. “COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP 2021).” World Health Organization. Accessed July 14, 2021. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-WHE-2021.02