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In the face of COVID-19, refugees ‘must be involved in prevention’

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, UN agencies have raced to ensure that millions of vulnerable people continue to receive the emergency support that they need.

In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, Cécile Pouilly from the UN refugee agency UNHCR outlines some of the many challenges created by the virus – and why it’s crucial that refugees are involved in fighting the virus too.

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News in Brief 20 March 2020

  • UN aid teams work round the clock to ensure humanitarian support to millions  
  • UN aid teams race to assess emergency needs, ensure supplies continue  
  • Airlift flies relief to Sudanese refugees in Chad  
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News in Brief 19 March 2020

  • UN health agency does not recommend against using ibuprofen for COVID-19 
  • Israel has ‘legal duty’ to ensure that Palestinians in OPT receive essential health services 
  • ‘No justification’ for information restrictions by Governments during coronavirus outbreak 
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‘Societies are healthier if everybody's healthier’: IOM spokesperson

The UN migration agency, IOM, is highly concerned about the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on migrants.

In an interview with UN News, spokesperson Joel Millman insisting that the stigmatization of migrants must be avoided.

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News in Brief 18 March 2020

  • Africa should wake up to COVID-19 epidemic, the says UN health agency chief 
  • Pandemic could mean 25 million jobs threatened – ILO 
  • Blueprint launched to manage Earth’s fragile peatland carbon sinks 
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Still ‘early days’ to assess COVID-19 impact on children: UNICEF 

Shortly after the outbreak of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), UNICEF was among the first United Nations agencies to step up and deliver much-needed medical supplies including masks to China.  

UN News spoke to Ms. Luwei Pearson, Acting Director of UNICEF’s Health Programme Division, about the agency’s quick response to the outbreak, and other issues including the possible physical and mental impact on millions of children faced with school closures.  

UN News’s Maoqi Li spoke to Ms. Luwei Pearson, via skype.  

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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

“We Must Declare War on this Virus”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his comments on the global response to the spread of the

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News in Brief 17 March 2020

  • Millions of people in crises will need UN humanitarian aid in midst of COVID-19 pandemic 
  • New locust swarms add to South Sudan food hardship 
  • UN chief condemns attacks on peacekeepers in Central African Republic, urges probe 
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China has demonstrated COVID-19 course can be altered - WHO

A decline in COVID-19 cases in China demonstrates that containment efforts can help alter the course of the pandemic, f according to Dr. Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in the country. 

 spoke to UN News’s Siwen Qian about cooperation between China and the UN, the value of strong public health systems, and why people everywhere should not panic and simply follow practical advice to limit spread of the virus.

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News in Brief 16 March 2020

  • Tedros renews call to countries to ‘test, test, test’ all cases of suspected infection 
  • COVID-19WFP sends lifesaving medical equipment to worst-hit Chinese province 
  • Rights experts urge countries to respect people’s rights when tackling virus 
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