Health

Health must come before the economy, insists top UN official for Latin America and the Caribbean

In Latin America, where much of the region has dealt with years of sluggish growth, the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing millions more into poverty, says Alicia Bárcena, the head of the UN regional body for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Five things you should know about disposable masks and plastic pollution

The fight against plastic pollution is being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the use of disposable masks, gloves and other protective equipment soars, but UN agencies and partners insist that, if effective measures are put into place, the amount of plastics discarded every year can be significantly cut, or even eliminated.

COVID-19 is not just seasonal, cautions WHO, as ‘first wave’ continues

The COVID-19 virus is likely not impacted by the changing seasons like other respiratory diseases, the UN health agency said on Tuesday, before urging much greater respect for physical distancing measures to stop it spreading.

Trade pact could boost Africa’s income by as much as $450 billion: World Bank

The African Continental Free Trade Area represents a major opportunity for countries to boost growth, reduce poverty, broaden economic inclusion and help “expand opportunities for all Africans”, hailed a World Bank official on Monday, which if fully implemented, could boost regional income by around $450 billion.

Spread of hepatitis B in children under five, lowest in decades: WHO

The global prevalence of potentially-deadly hepatitis B in children under age five, dropped to under one per cent in 2019 – down from five per cent in the pre-vaccine decades between the 1980s and early 2000s, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday.

COVID-19 provides opportunity to resolve conflicts, address weaknesses across Arab region: UN chief

While all Arab states are facing difficulties in responding to COVID-19, the pandemic can also provide an opportunity to resolve long-standing conflicts and address structural weaknesses across the region, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday.

Israel-Palestine: Breakdown in cooperation over COVID, now putting lives at risk

Cooperation between Israelis and the Palestinians at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic is breaking down, putting human lives at risk as the economy goes into meltdown and the threat of Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank lingers, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process says.

Global cooperation key to eradicating deadly pig virus: UN agency

A disease that may kill every pig it infects and for which there is no effective vaccine, can be eradicated if more countries continue to work together to limit its spread, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday.

Rise in women prisoners and COVID measures, ‘making sentences worse’

More than 700,000 women are in prison around the world, and that number is growing much faster than men, the Human Rights Council has heard.

Our ‘new normal’ requires human contact, UN chief tells youth webinar on mental health

How to adapt and move forward in the new reality of a COVID-19 world was the focus of a UN webinar on Wednesday, which considered how young people can maintain good mental health and a sense of wellbeing.