Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on our lives, our economies and societies. While the virus is affecting everyone, it will reserve its worst for the most vulnerable whether they live across the street or across the ocean.
Viruses don’t pay attention to borders or geography, so neither can we. People need to keep standing together, supporting each other, and acting on the simple premise that this pandemic is bigger than all of us and we’ll defeat it if we stand and act as one.
This is the right thing to do. But it’s also the smart thing to do. A response that leaves out the poorest people, refugees, and the vulnerable wherever they are will mean this virus is still a threat to everyone.
We need to mobilize the resources for a humanitarian response on a scale not seen in decades to make sure that new medicines and a vaccine, once available, are distributed equitably. If the virus is alive anywhere it can mutate to come back to threaten us everywhere.
We’ve already seen the crushing economic impact of the pandemic in the U.S., Europe, and other G20 countries – these stories dominate the headlines. The impact could be even greater in Africa, where resources are urgently needed to tackle the consequences.
We need to prepare for the future in order to defeat coronavirus and future global health threats. That means building the capacity of all countries to prevent, detect and respond to global health threats. None of us is safe unless all of us are safe.