UN Creates Fund with Three Windows for COVID-19 Response, Future Resilience
story highlights

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund and Call to Action report take a long-term view, stressing that the world must address the issues that “make us all unnecessarily vulnerable to crises,” with the 2030 Agenda serving as the roadmap to achieving this.

The Fund seeks to stop transmission of the virus, protect the most vulnerable from its socio-economic impacts, and make countries more resilient to future health crises.

Guterres said the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must "lead to a different economy" - more equal, inclusive and sustainable, to be more resilient to pandemics, climate change, and other global challenges.

The UN Secretary-General has announced the establishment of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund and launched a report serving as a call to action. Both the Fund and the Call to Action take a long-term view, stressing that the world must address the issues that “make us all unnecessarily vulnerable to crises,” with the 2030 Agenda serving as the roadmap to achieving this.

Launched on 31 March 2020, the multi-donor trust fund is anticipated to require USD 1 billion over the first nine months. The Fund will complement the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s Consolidated Global Humanitarian Appeal for COVID-19, which are described in this SDG Knowledge Hub article.

The eventual recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must make us more resilient to pandemics, climate change, and other global challenges.

The Fund has three aims, with a finance window for each one: stop transmission of the virus, protect the most vulnerable from its socio-economic impacts, and make countries more resilient to future health crises. Window 1, ‘Enable governments and communities to tackle the emergency,’ will support countries to fully implement their National Action Plans for Health Security (NAPHS), helping them close gaps in acquiring essential equipment and supplies, and pay health and social workers.

Window 2, ‘Reduce social impact and promote economic response,’ will support immediate social protection measures including cash transfers and food security. It will enable school meal programmes and learning to meet children’s food and educational needs, while boosting digital innovations to support employment, livelihoods, and social services.

Window 3, ‘Recover better,’ focuses on national preparedness measures such as maintenance of key services and workforces during crises, and laboratory capacity. This window will also invest in innovative delivery of public services to “achieve sustainable and inclusive economies that leave no-one behind and safeguard country SDG programmes from COVID-19-related setbacks.”

A factsheet sets out the strategy, themes and governance structure of the Fund. The Fund’s contribution to coronavirus response will be monitored, with real-time information on activities made available online.  

Also launched by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 31 March was a report on social and economic impacts of the virus outbreak titled, ‘Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.’ Introducing the report, Guterres observed that “We are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world.” Expressing particular concern about Africa, he strongly encouraged the G20 to proceed with the proposed G20 Africa initiative discussed during the G20 Extraordinary Leaders Summit held virtually on 26 March.

The report is a call to action for the same sets of action prioritized by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund. Guterres highlighted the importance of focusing on the people most affected socially and economically by the pandemic: women, older persons, youth, low-wage workers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the informal sector, and vulnerable groups, especially those in humanitarian and conflict settings. He said a multilateral response of about 10% of global GDP will be needed, and that we must prioritize debt alleviation.

Looking longer-term, Guterres said, “when we get past this crisis … we will face a choice. We can go back to the world as it was before or deal decisively with those issues that make us all unnecessarily vulnerable to crises.”

Pointing to the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs as “our roadmap,” he said the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must “lead to a different economy” – more equal, inclusive and sustainable, to be more resilient to pandemics, climate change, and other global challenges. [Secretary-General remarks] [UN press release on launch of Fund and report] [Publication: Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the Socio-economic Impacts of COVID-19] [MPTF news story

related posts