This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Cash help needed now to help world’s informal workers
Informal workers who live day to day urgently need cash support from their Governments to survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of the UN labour agency said on Friday.
Guy Ryder, who’s head of the International Labour Organization (ILO), said that immediate action was needed to prevent people being faced with the “impossible choice” of protecting themselves against the virus by self-isolating, which removed their chances of working and survival.
“It’s a simple issue of social protection; we need to get not tomorrow but today, direct transfers of cash and resources of these people desperately in need.”
More than 60 per cent of the world's employed population are in the informal economy, around two billion people, according to the ILO.
Most of them are in emerging and developing countries. The majority lack social protection, rights at work and decent working conditions.
Challenges for multilateralism - and optimism - revealed in UN-led global debate
An online debate on Friday between UN and international agency heads and the wider public, highlighted serious concerns about the challenges facing multilateralism - along with optimism that it is the only way to tackle global threats.
Taking place on the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, the web event highlighted Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s message that
combatting the new coronavirus “requires us to work together as one human family”.
The debate also echoed the results of the one-minute global survey launched by the UN chief, in the Organization’s 75th year, to discuss people’s hopes and concerns for the future.
So far, it has had more than 80,000 participants online from more than 190 countries.
Although people’s main immediate concern is the new coronavirus, their long-term concern is tackling climate change, the UN poll has indicated clearly.
Human rights concerns are also a key priority, and Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU), insisted that Members of Parliament had an important role to play in protecting people’s freedoms everywhere:
“We see that many parliaments are stepping up to the plate and saying that, ‘Yes, these measures are temporary, yes, they have to be circumscribed, yes, we allow Governments to take extraordinary measures, but we are keeping a watchful eye.’”
Refugee healthworkers step up for coronavirus response in Latin America
As the COVID-19 crisis stretches healthcare systems in Latin America, several countries have called on migrant refugees to support their response.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, is supporting efforts that tap into the skills and resources that these medical professionals could provide.
It says that across the region, thousands of refugees are already helping national health systems with the pandemic response.
Many more stand ready to give back to the communities sheltering them, said UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo.
She added that the new coronavirus pandemic “is now compounding an already desperate situation for many refugees and their hosts”.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.