In line with the UN approach to “build back better” post COVID-19, and in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the new programme aims to mitigate the immediate impacts of the pandemic while strengthening the longer-term resilience of food systems and livelihoods. “We cannot employ a ‘business as usual’ approach anymore,” highlighted FAO Director-General QU Dongyu in his opening remarks, adding that “We must work very hard to limit COVID-19’s damaging effects on food security and nutrition. We need to be more country-driven, innovative and work closely hand in hand. This is how FAO has built its COVID-19 comprehensive response and recovery programme, and today we are asking you to join us.”

SOURCE: FAO

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has joined other multilateral development banks and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a drive to provide urgently needed support for trade during the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has led to a devastating economic downturn. International trade has been affected by a reduction in the supply of trade finance. Insufficient trade finance threatens to compromise otherwise-viable trade transactions.

SOURCE: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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The United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed convened and opened the Recover Better Together Action Forum this morning. Over 300 participants, 40 speakers, including Ministers of Finance, International Cooperation and Foreign Affairs, ambassadors and partners from the private sector and civil society shared their experience in dealing with the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 and committed to recover better from the crisis. Heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes and Resident Coordinators leading the UN’s COVID-19 response and recovery on the ground also articulated the UN’s offer across different dimensions of the COVID-19 response and shared early results of the UN’s work with national and local authorities to protect lives and livelihoods.

SOURCE: CNBC Africa

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) joins the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and other partner organisations to launch a major survey to understand the unique challenges faced by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in least-developed countries (LDCs).

SOURCE: International Chamber of Commerce

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The COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives, but also triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Over 75 percent of countries are now reopening at the same time as the pandemic is intensifying in many emerging market and developing economies. Several countries have started to recover. However, in the absence of a medical solution, the strength of the recovery is highly uncertain and the impact on sectors and countries uneven.

SOURCE: IMF Blog

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At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging all over the world, and more than 200 countries on five continents are not spared. The health and lives of all human beings are seriously threatened. The world is in the worst public health crisis in nearly a century. Almost all countries have taken measures such as city lockdowns and border closures in order to protect themselves. For a time, pessimism, unilateralism and protectionism prevailed. At this critical moment, G20 parties put aside their differences, coordinated action and demonstrated international cooperation to fight COVID-19, which provided confidence and hope for the global response.

SOURCE: China Daily

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A new joint project of the United Nations is currently seeking to help developing countries build transport, trade and logistics resilience in the wake of the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic. The project puts a premium on global reach and regional presence, international cooperation, as well as the exchange of knowledge and good practices from all over the world. It seeks to equip governments in developing and least developed countries to adapt to new post-COVID-19 conditions by tapping into UN expertise, standards, tools and guidance while considering their specific and local conditions.

SOURCE: The News Chronicle

Image credit: UNCTAD/Jan Hoffmann

African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (AGF) has today announced its COVID-19 response aimed at reducing the uncertainties facing financial institutions in Africa as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. AGF’s COVID-19 response is built on the imperative need for commercial solutions over and above the regulatory efforts already provided by the various central banks and governments in the continent. 

SOURCE: Africa Group News Room

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The World Bank Group today announced its emergency operations to fight COVID-19 (coronavirus) have reached 100 developing countries – home to 70% of the world’s population. Since March, the Bank Group has rapidly delivered record levels of support in order to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, reinforce health systems, maintain the private sector, and bolster economic recovery. This assistance, the largest and fastest crisis response in the Bank Group’s history, marks a milestone in implementing the Bank Group’s pledge to make available $160 billion in grants and financial support over a 15-month period to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and the economic shutdown in advanced countries.

SOURCE: World Bank

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Africa has so far escaped the worst health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the continent looks like it could be the worst hit from the economic fallout of the crisis: 80 million Africans could be pushed into extreme poverty if action is not taken. And disruptions in food systems raise the prospect of more Africans falling into hunger. Rural people, many of whom work on small-scale farms, are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the crisis. It is therefore vital that the COVID-19 response address food security and target the rural poor.

SOURCE: Business Week

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