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Journalists provide ‘antidote’ to COVID-19 misinformation, UN chief says ahead of World Press Freedom Day

The UN Secretary-General is calling for greater protection of journalists who are providing the “antidote” to what he has characterized as a pandemic of misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 crisis.

António Guterres made the appeal in a video message for World Press Freedom Day, observed this coming Sunday, in which he underscored the crucial role media has in helping people make informed decisions.

Millions of missing airmiles: How the UN civil aviation agency is helping airlines take off again

In normal times, the world’s airlines would be carrying nearly 2 billion international passengers this year. That’s 5.7 million a day. But with the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the planet, these are not normal times. In its latest analysis of the economic impact of novel coronavirus on global commercial aviation, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) warns of a potential overall reduction of 872 million to just over 1.3 billion international passengers – if signs of recovery emerge in late May.

Global health experts advise WHO to identify animal source of COVID-19 virus

International experts have advised the World Health Organization (WHO) to work to identify the animal origins of the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic and its transmission to humans, the UN agency said on Friday.

The recommendation was among the outcomes of the latest meeting of the Emergency Committee on the new disease, established under global health regulations.

COVID-19: Act now to avert ‘hunger catastrophe’ for millions missing out on school meals

With classrooms closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two UN agencies are urging governments to act now to shore up the futures of the 370 million children worldwide who depend on school meals.

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) fear these young lives will suffer devastating nutritional and health consequences as a result of the crisis.

COVID-19 could lead to millions of unintended pregnancies, new UN-backed data reveals

Ongoing lockdowns and major disruptions to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic could result in seven million unintended pregnancies in the coming months, according to data released on Tuesday by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners.

They estimate that the number of women unable to access family planning or facing unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence and other harmful practices, could “skyrocket” by millions due to the crisis.

UN leads bid to help 135 countries get vital COVID-19 medical kit, amid severe global shortages

A major UN-led initiative is under way to secure supplies of key medical equipment for 135 low to medium-income countries facing down the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 taskforce initiative follows a direct request to WHO from UN Secretary-General António Guterres to coordinate the Organization’s response to the new coronavirus.

Tap youth talent to tackle COVID-19 crisis and beyond, UN chief tells Security Council

Even amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries must do more to harness the talents of young people to address the crisis and its aftermath, the UN Secretary-General told the Security Council on Monday during a videoconference meeting to review the five years since its adoption of a landmark resolution on youth, peace and security.

‘Landmark collaboration’ to make COVID-19 testing and treatment available to all

World leaders, scientists, humanitarians and private sector partners united on Friday in “a landmark collaboration” that will make new tools and medicines to diagnose and treat COVID-19, accessible to people everywhere.

The virtual launch of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, saw participation from all corners of the planet to boost commitment and support for the production of  diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to save lives from an unprecedented enemy.