When the World Health Organization pronounced COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11 2020, there were more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people had lost their lives.
At last count, March 31 2020, those numbers had risen to 801,400 cases in 178 countries, with 38,743 deaths.
By March 25 2020, the situation had deteriorated to such an extent that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres launched a $2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries in a bid to protect millions of people and stop the virus from circling back around the globe.
His message was underlined by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, who said: “COVID-19 has already upended life in some of the world’s wealthiest countries. It is now reaching places where people live in warzones, cannot easily access clean water and soap, and have no hope of a hospital bed if they fall critically ill."
Urging the world to unite behind the UN's cause, he added: “Countries battling the pandemic at home are rightly prioritizing people living in their own communities. But the hard truth is they will be failing to protect their own people if they do not act now to help the poorest countries protect themselves."
To that end, information is key, and the ReliefWeb COVID-19 page will not only follow the implementation of the Plan by UN agencies, with INGOs and NGO consortia playing a direct role in the response, but also INGO and government input in the battle to overcome COVID-19.