The world is facing an unprecedented test. And this is the moment of truth. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling seriously ill from COVID, and the disease is spreading exponentially in many places. Societies are in turmoil and economies are in a nose-dive. We must respond decisively, innovatively and together to suppress the spread of the virus and address the socioeconomic devastation that COVID is causing in all regions. And it must be multilateral, with countries showing solidarity to the most vulnerable communities and nations. It is a call to action.
Funding & Implementation
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Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, we have seen vast differences in leadership styles, as well as capabilities, of national authorities to meet the challenge. Some countries rose to the occasion with a unified response based on sound scientific and economic principles, taking bold public health measures while also striving to ensure that the impact of lockdowns on society would be kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, we have also seen governments drop the ball, failing to do what was needed either from a public health perspective or an economic perspective to get it under control. Others have even exploited the crisis to sideline the political opposition and consolidate power. In a world as interconnected as ours, we are only as strong as our weakest link. Only when all countries meet the challenge together can we safely reopen our borders and revive our economies. We cannot effectively mitigate the multifaceted impacts of the crisis unless we co-operate with a clear understanding of the challenges, follow the advice of experts, and implement best practices to assuage the negative effects. It features the observations of dozens of experts and parliamentarians who contributed to a series of online events the OSCE PA has held since March, pointing out that with governments preoccupied with COVID challenges, we must not allow other important issues to slip from the international agenda.
From , a devastating wave of Ebola swept through Sierra Leone, infecting 8, people and killing 3,, of which healthcare workers. President Julius Maada Bio declared a year-long state of emergency on Tuesday the 24th of March , which was approved by the Parliament on Thursday the 26th of March , allowing for border crossings to be monitored by military staff and police forces, reduced opening hours of markets and the closing of pubs and restrictions to restaurants in order to control an imminent outbreak. In response to our question about whether there had been any improvements since, his answer was worrisome at best. On a provincial level, connection to water systems is low, and the Sierra Leone Water Company is attempting to provide the much-needed supply to communities who are not connected to pipe-borne water. Alternative ways of supplying water are the installation of community points with tanks that are filled by water trucks. The most basic and essential measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, washing your hands with water and soap, is thus a nearly impossible task for a large part of the population of Sierra Leone. The alternative, alcohol-based hand sanitisers, has become a luxury item, with prices skyrocketing and stores running out all over Sierra Leone. A pandemic such as COVID therefore immediately highlights the high level of inequality within the country: your income will determine how and whether you will withstand the ongoing pandemic.
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