Various agencies of the United Nations’ Organisation have expressed their willingness to help some regions of Africa combat the coronavirus pandemic now rocking the world.
The event took place on April 292020, via a virtual press conference that ran from 15:00 to 16:17 (GMT), through an Android application known as Zoom. The latter was bilingual (English and French).
Considering the serious development and humanitarian challenges faced by Africa during this period, it appeared a necessity to the UN agencies that such a press conference be organised, in order to brief journalists on the rapidly evolving situation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the region.
In effect, ever since the Covid-19 broke out, causing more than 7,840 confirmed cases as from February 29, when the first case was confirmed in West and Central Africa, the geographic wide spread has been considerable, as all countries in the region have had confirmed cases.
Through the months of confinement, initially partly observed by some nations till full observation, there has been cause to worry for the economic survival of many a person, especially when taking into consideration the level of poverty in those parts of Africa.
The Sahel and Lake Chad Basin is top of the list. It was with these thoughts in mind that UN agencies, working with governments and partners, recently decided to implement the launched US$2 billion Global Humanitarian Response Plan.
Beginning the virtual conference this April 29, Damian Cardona Onses, moderator thereof and Director of the UN Information Centre, Dakar, clearly earmarked the purpose of the meeting.
He then introduced the various panelists who were to answer to the questions of the more than 100 journalists connected to the conference all over Africa.
The panelists were: Mr. Mabingue Ngom, Chair a.i. R-UNSDG-WCA, & Regional Director, UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office; Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director, WHO Regional Office for Africa, Ms. Marie Pierre Poirier, Regional Director, UNICEF West and Central Africa, Mr. Chris Nikoi, Regional Director, WFP West and Central Africa.
According to Mohamed Chambas, “the UN remains mobilised and determined to continue its unflinching support to the region.” The same support is brought to the affected through “the assistance provided by the UN entities […]” he added.
H.E. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, isSpecial Representative of UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel and Head of UNOWAS.
If the implementation of barrier recommendations had its share of time during the conference, the after effects thereof on the economy of the regions gained more attention.
Most of the questions asked by journalists revolved around the troubles generated by the confinement measure, which turns to create penury and food shortages in many homes, as petit businesses die down, while adequate government measures linger to come forth, in order to sustain the people.
It is worth noting that, more than 210 people have died and 2,261 have recovered, while over 5,396 cases still under treatment.