Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 363 - March 27, 2020

Issue 363 - March 27, 2020

Don’t say nobody warned us


The message could not have been clearer: “There is a very real threat of a rapidly moving, highly lethal pandemic of a respiratory pathogen killing 50 to 80 million people and wiping out nearly 5% of the world’s economy. A global pandemic on that scale would be catastrophic, creating widespread havoc, instability and insecurity.”
This prediction was published in September 2019, and the cost of preparadness was estimated at two dollars per capita a year. World governments decided not to do it and focused instead on for profit delivery of health services. Read more



UN launches US$2 billion global humanitarian response to fight COVID-19


The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 25 March launched a US$2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fund the fight against COVID-19 across South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The launch was held virtually in UN headquarters in New York. “We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable – millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves,” said UN Secretary-General. “This is a matter of basic human solidarity. It is also crucial for combating the virus, since the world is only as strong as our weakest health system.” Read more



Fighting Coronavirus: It’s Time to Invest in Universal Public Health


Austerity policies pushed by international financial institutions have weakened public health systems, despite current financial support packages, condemning many people to die.
As health systems of East Asia, Europe, and the Americas buckle under the strain of coronavirus, developing countries are expecting an even higher human toll. Decades of austerity promoted by international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and regional development banks have weakened public health systems, impeding the ability of governments to respond to the pandemic. Read more



Financial Insecurity and COVID-19 in Canada


Everyone will be eventually touched by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but rent is due soon.
Specifically, the report by Ricardo Tranjan addresses the following question: How many weeks or months can renters go without employment income before running out of savings? Of particular concern is the 3.4 million Canadian households who rent and whose primary source of income is wages and salaries or self-employment income.
The short answer is that almost half of them have less than a month’s worth of savings; one-third have two weeks or less. Read more



There is society and Social Watch reports about it


“There is no society, only individuals,” Margaret Thatcher famously said. The global pandemia is proving her wrong. Instead of panicking in face of the pandemia, people around the world are organizing, cooperating and supporting each other beyond what regulations ask them to do. Social Watch was created to channel civil societies independent reporting on how governments implement their commitments. And that includes their legal obligations to promote, protect and respect Human Rights, including the right to health.
As you know, many UN meetings scheduled for March, April and May have been cancelled, postponed or reduced in time and participation. As of March 27 we do not know yet what will happen to the meeting of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) of next July. The HLPF should review at ministerial level the Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including the presentation of national reports from dozens of countries.
Social Watch remains committed to support alternative civil society reporting and disseminate their findings.
As the coronavirus pandemia is affecting all countries, with more severe impacts expected among the poor, we particularly welcome the reporting, even if partial, on how societies are being affected and mobilizing to face the crisis, cope and care. Read more




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