Interviews

Cultural sector may be last to regain ‘normalcy’ after pandemic: UNESCO

With cancelled concerts, postponed festivals, and closed cinemas and theatres, artists across the world are struggling to make ends meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hi

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8'24"

UN health agency leads collaborative bid to get 135 countries ready for COVID-19

If you’re an avid follower of COVID-19 developments, you may have wondered what the phrase, “PCR equipment” means. It stands for polymerase chain reaction, which is the process that labs use to check whether someone with COVID-19 symptoms has the new coronavirus, after taking a medical swab, usually from both nostrils. 

In line with World Health Organization advice to countries to test as many cases of suspected infection as possible, the race is on to find enough PCR machines for everybody. And that’s where Paul Molinaro comes in; he’s the cool, calm and collected head of logistics at the WHO, which with other UN partners is part of a major new initiative to help kit out 135 countries trying to see off the pandemic.

He’s been talking to UN News’s Daniel Johnson.

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8'2"

South Sudan: COVID-19 pandemic challenges add to existing crises

The COVID-19 pandemic is adversely affecting everyone, everywhere, with lockdown restrictions hitting the development and humanitarian relief sectors especially hard.

Malo Meshack is UN Representative for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in South Sudan. In this interview, he tells FAO’s Andre Vornic, how his team has adjusted to this new reality.

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5'59"

‘Canoe plants’ can feed the modern world

The Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii is promoting the local foodstuff as a response to “critical global food security issues,” especially for developing island states.

Daniel Dickinson met research technician and farmer Noel Dickinson at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens on the island of Kauai and began by asking her to describe what the plant looks like. 

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7'14"

‘All countries want to tackle the rising cost of medical expenditures’: WHO’s up and coming economics guru

Young, creative and bold minds, who are helping redefine their own areas of expertise, are highlighted every year by the US business publication, Forbes. This year, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) youthful health economist Swathi Bhargav Iyengar, made the “30 under 30” list, for developing the WHO’s MedMon mobile application.

In an interview with Mehboob Khan from the UN News Hindi service, the young economist explains how she started developing the tool and the impact it’s had on lives so far.

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10'6"

Behind the scenes at the humanitarian air hub dispatching COVID-19 aid to African nations

Facemasks – a million of them - are just some of the precious cargo being dispatched to all corners of Africa by the UN, as the continent braces for the spread of COVID-19. Managing this huge task is Amer Daoudi, Senior Director of Operations for the World Food Programme.

In an online interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, Jordanian national, Mr. Daoudi, takes us behind the scenes at the agency’s humanitarian hub in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where a UN-wide supply chain operation is now in full swing.

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7'45"

Climate catastrophes and now coronavirus, Pacific islands in the crosshairs

While the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc around the globe, the remoteness of the Pacific Islands has left people living there vulnerable in many different ways. 

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12'13"

Spreading the word, stopping the virus

Making sure that information about COVID-19 is accurate, and how to stay protected, is crucial to getting the pandemic under control.
Conor Lennon from UN News spoke to Moez Chackchouk, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO, and started by asked him how to describe the scale of the so-called “disinfodemic”
 

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11'31"

COVID-19 in Gaza: even in refugee camps, people asked to stay ‘home’

Even in the overcrowded places like refugee camps, the UN is working towards potentially life-saving behavior change, asking people to stay ‘home’, because social distancing will mean at least some “family protection”.

Referring to the low number of cases in Gaza so far as “good news”, Matthias Schmale, director of the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) has warned in an interview with UN News, that local hospitals would not have the capacity to deal with coronavirus and there are not enough tests to go round.

Mr. Schmale, spoke to UN News Arabic’s Hazem Balousha, who’s based in the Israeli-controlled enclave.

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11'22"

Lebanon: UN mission helps local communities in ‘common fight’ against COVID-19

While performing their mandated duties “24/7” on land, in the air, and at sea, UN peacekeepers in Lebanon are also supporting local communities in preventing the spread of COVID-19, according to their Force Commander.

Major General Stefano Del Col spoke to May Yaacoub about activities during what he has described as “a challenging period”, and the measures UNIFIL took after one peacekeeper was found to have the disease. 

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4'56"