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UN and partners in Lebanon launch an Emergency Appeal requesting for US$350 million to respond to the immediate impact of COVID-19

Today, following consultations with the government and international partners, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim and humanitarian partners are launching the Lebanon Emergency Appeal. The Appeal, requesting for US$350 million, is to address critical areas of humanitarian intervention to protect the lives of people in Lebanon who are most acutely at risk due to the COVID-19 outbreak and its immediate socio-economic impact.

Reporters in Lebanon facing double-edged sword: Fear of contracting COVID-19 as they cover renewed protests

With the novel coronavirus exacerbating already dire socio-economic conditions in Lebanon, journalists there find themselves facing double the work. Even as Lebanon’s government grapples with a deteriorating economy and financial crisis on one hand, and the COVID-19 pandemic on the other, popular demonstrations have resumed. Many of those protesting are ignoring measures aimed at guarding against the spread of the coronavirus. Reporters are caught in the middle.

Coronavirus: Health system overload threatens pregnant women and newborns

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 116 million babies have been born since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on Thursday called for governments to maintain lifesaving services for pregnant women and newborns that are under increasing threat from strained health services and supply chains.

New mothers and their babies are facing systems in crisis, including overwhelmed health centres; supply and equipment shortages; and a lack of skilled birth attendants, including midwives. 

COVID-19 makes universal digital access and cooperation essential: UN tech agency

As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes the way in which we work, keep in touch, go to school and shop for essentials – across the world – it has never been more important to bridge the digital divide for the 3.6 billion people who remain off-line.

That’s according to top experts from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), who outlined the implications of the new coronavirus pandemic during a digital briefing on Tuesday to correspondents in Geneva.

Coronavirus and human rights: New UN report calls for disability-inclusive recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying inequalities experienced by the world’s one billion people with disabilities, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in launching a report issued on Wednesday that calls for a disability-inclusive recovery and response to the crisis.

Even under normal circumstances, people with disabilities are less likely to access education, healthcare and income opportunities, or to participate in their communities, according to Mr. Guterres.

Record child displacement figures due to conflict and violence in 2019: UNICEF

A new UN report finds that some 19 million children were displaced within their own countries due to conflict and violence in 2019, more than in any other year, making them among the most vulnerable to the global spread of COVID-19. 

According to the “Lost at Home” report, published on Tuesday by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there were 12 million new displacements of children in 2019:  around 3.8 million of them caused by conflict and violence, and 8.2 million, due to disasters linked mostly to weather-related events. 

UN supports journalists to counter disinformation, fake news and ensure their safety during COVID-19

While the COVID-19 outbreak is a global public health crisis, it has led to a parallel pandemic of disinformation that directly impacts lives and livelihoods around the world. Falsehoods and misinformation have proven deadly and sowed confusion about life-saving personal and policy choices.