United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malawi Ms. Maria Jose Torres has said people in Malawi can work together to beat coronavirus and ensure that the crisis does not become a human tragedy.
Torres said this in a statement detailing the her organisations actions in the fight against Covid-19 outbreak.
“These are times to respect human rights across the spectrum, to enable the success of the public health response. The UN stands with the people of Malawi and encourages government authorities, civil society, academia, the private sector, trade unions, political parties, the media, traditional leaders and religious leaders to all respond with solidarity and respect, across racial, religious, gender and political lines,” Torres said.
She said the UN is providing decisive and coordinated support to Government’s efforts, together with development partners and non-government organizations, to strengthen the ability of Malawian institutions to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and ensure that no one is left behind.
“UNICEF has focused on buying medical supplies and equipment, as well as improving the water and sanitation infrastructure, to support the ability of Government and the humanitarian community to respond,” said Torres.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango on Saturday also confirmed saying UNICEF is procuring Personal Protective Equipment for all health care workers and 5000 test kits.
On other actions by UN agencies, Torres said technical advice provided by WHO (World Health Organisation) has been critical to the design of Malawi’s national COVID-19 health sector plan, including establishing laboratory testing capacity and training public health specialists,” said Torres.
She added that the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation are seeking to ensure that food and necessary supplies are available and can reach even those most in need.
UN agencies are also helping prevent major economic and social setbacks due to the pandemic by expanding temporary cash transfers and initiating measures to help protect jobs, businesses and incomes.
“Protection of the most vulnerable population groups and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, remain central to the work of UN Women, UNICEF, UNAIDS, ILO, IOM, UNHCR, and UNFPA. This includes support to refugees in camps, migrants at the borders, persons living with HIV/AIDS, persons living with disabilities, persons with albinism, single-headed households, the elderly, and those living in extreme poverty,” said Torres.
President Peter Mutharika has set out a stimulus package to help cushion the economic impact of the disease.
Mutharika and all government ministers are taking a 10% wage cut for three months to raise money to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
As part of the stimulus package, the president announced a series of tax breaks for businesses, a reduction in fuel prices and an increase in risk allowances for health workers.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :