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Nearly 380 civil society organizations have urged Members of the World Trade Organization to strongly support the adoption of a draft decision proposed by India and South Africa for a waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement to combat the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

India and South Africa have submitted a proposal (IP/C/W/669) to the WTO TRIPS Council on a "Waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19".

Over 70 per cent of young people who were either studying or combining study and work before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced school closures, and not all were able to transition into online and distance learning, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said.

According to a report on youth and COVID-19, the ILO said that COVID-19 has left one in eight young people (13 per cent) without any access to courses, teaching or training.

At the upcoming triennial review of the list of 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), as defined by the United Nations, scheduled on 22-26 February 2021, five countries will be reviewed and recommended for graduation from the LDC category if they continue to meet a set of criteria.

These are: Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste.

Paid Sick Leave a Crucial Weapon During COVID-19 Era and BeyondGlobal study shows that gaps in coverage for ailing workers put nations’ health and economic security at risk

At a time when the world’s attention is focused on curbing the spread of infectious disease, new research by the UCLA WORLD Policy Analysis Center shows that strengthening guarantees of paid sick leave is crucial to protecting health and economic security around the globe.

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.

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, with the Secretary-General being joined by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

According to the UN, COVID-19 has killed more than 16,000 people worldwide, and there are nearly 400,000 reported cases.

ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, warned that the region’s economies will suffer the pandemic’s negative consequences via numerous channels.

The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, warned today that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will have devastating effects on the global economy that will certainly be more intense than and distinct from those felt during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, adding that Latin American and Caribbean countries will not be spared since they will be affected through numerous channels.

Ollivier de Sutter, former Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on the Right to Food (2008 to 2014) was voted by the Human Rights Council in its March 13 session as Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty, from May 1 on.

Commenting on his appointment, De Sutter wrote: “Ironic turn of history: in May 2008, I inaugurated my mandate as Special Rapporteur on the right to food in a context of unprecedented crisis, with an explosion in food prices linked both to a barrel of oil at the highest and speculation on the markets, as well as restrictions on exports of food products ... Twelve years later, this new appointment comes at a time when a major economic recession is coming, with business closings chain, massive job losses, and an increase in poverty in the face of exhausted social protection systems.

An initial assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the global world of work says the effects will be far-reaching, pushing millions of people into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty, and proposes measures for a decisive, co-ordinated and immediate response.

Input from the Civil Society Financing for Development Group in response to the announcement by the Presidents of the UN Economic and Social Council and the UN General Assembly, regarding the establishment of a High-level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Integrity and Transparency for Achieving the 2030 Agenda.

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