UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning that the world faces the most challenging crisis since World War II, confronting a pandemic threatening people in every country that will bring a recession "that probably has no parallel in the recent past."
The U.N. chief said at the launch of a report Tuesday on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 there is also a risk that the combination of the disease and its economic impact will contribute to "enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict."
Guterres called for a stronger and more effective global response to the coronavirus pandemic and to the social and economic devastation that COVID-19 is causing.
He stressed that this will only be possible "if everybody comes together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake."
"The magnitude of the response must match the scale of the crisis - large-scale, co-ordinated and comprehensive, with country and international responses being guided by the World Health Organization," the secretary-general said, noting that not all countries are following WHO guidelines.
Guterres announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to support efforts in low- and middle-income countries, with the aim of swiftly enabling governments to tackle the crisis and promote recovery.