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UN Secretary-General António Guterres interacts with Paloma Costa on climate issues. United Nations photo: Manuel Elias
UNIC Rio

“We are the action,” says young Brazilian climate activist

Brazilian activist Paloma Costa is creating a new generation of youth engaged in climate activism. At the age of 27, she led Brazil's delegation to the Youth Climate Summit in 2019, and coordinated the climate working group at Engajamundo, which invited youth to participate in "Fridays for the future" and climate strikes. The organization was born following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio + 20. During the event, which took place almost 10 years ago, many young people felt that their views had not been adequately represented by world leaders and UN agencies.

Mobile healthcare apps developed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). United Nations photo: Mohamed Hinnawi/UNRWA
UNIC Tokyo

Smartphone apps help Palestine refugees seek healthcare during COVID-19

During the Covid-19 pandemic when social distancing is a key factor in limiting transmission, Palestinian refugees are able to use smartphone apps to access an online healthcare network through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The refugees receive reminders to take medicine, check blood pressure and exercise. They can check their test results and message healthcare providers.

Sister Juliet Lithemba in Leribe, Lesotho recommends getting vaccinated for COVID-19 after being hospitalized due to the virus. United Nations photo: WHO Lesotho
RCO Lesotho

COVID-19 convent outbreak shows risk to seniors

For Sister Juliet Lithemba, the past year has been “nothing short of grace and mercy from above,” as she explains it. The 77-year-old resident of Mt Royal Convent of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, located in Lesotho’s Leribe district, didn’t know much about COVID-19 until her convent home and fellow sisters were infected by the deadly virus.

Fashion designer Reinaldo Lourenço addresses workshop participants in his factory in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo courtesy OIT/MPT/UNICAMP
UNIC Rio

Brazilian slave labor victims learn new careers during Covid-19

Top Brazilian designers led a workshop earlier this year to teach victims of slave labor a new and more dignified career in fashion. The workshop is part of the "Slave Labour Never Again" project: a collaboration among the Public Ministry for Employment, the  International Labour Organization (ILO) and the University of Campinas (Unicamp). 

An Air France plane transports medical supplies to Djibouti as part of UNICEF’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative. Photo courtesy Air France KLM Martinair Cargo
UNRIC Brussels

EU airlines join forces with UNICEF to transport COVID-19 vaccines around world

Major European airlines are among those helping UNICEF in its historic mission to deliver COVID-19 vaccines, essential medicines and medical devices across the globe in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Left to right: United Nations University-MERIT PhD fellow Tatenda Zinyemba, United Nations University-MERIT PhD fellow Racky Balde. United Nations photos: H. Peijpers
UNRIC Brussels

Meet women scientists at the forefront of COVID-19 research

Women researchers have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, with female scientists across the globe playing pivotal roles, from advancing knowledge on the virus, to developing vaccines, treating patients and assessing the pandemic’s devastating economic and social impact.

Ágata Melo, 8 years old, returns to school with help from the project Active School Search. United Nations photo: UNICEF
UNIC Rio

Ágata returns to school in Brazil during the pandemic

Everyone stayed inside their homes in 2020 because of the pandemic and in-person learning at school in the small city of Vigia, in Pará, Brazil was suspended. For students like Ágata Melo, 8 years old, not only did she lose contact with her teachers, she lost an entire year of school.

Secretary-General António Guterres speaks with hospital worker
António Guterres

Only together can we end this pandemic and recover

One full year into the COVID-19 pandemic, our world has faced a tsunami of suffering. So many lives have been lost. Economies have been upended and societies left reeling. The most vulnerable have suffered the most. Those left behind are being left even further behind. 

 

On-air personalities from Qmusic's "Blijf in uw kot” ("Stay in your shack") show in Flanders, Belgium. Photo courtesy Qmusic
UNRIC Brussels

Radio provides solace during COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, radio broadcasts into homes, workplaces and hospitals have provided essential updates on health measures and provided solace to scores of people cut off from their loved ones.

Disabilities advocate Mónika Zsúnyi, 26, stands front of the local youth office in her town of Temerin, Serbia. Photo courtesy Mónika Zsúnyi
RCO Serbia

Serbian woman promotes rights of people with disabilities during COVID-19

Mónika Zsúnyi is 26 years old and lives in Temerin, Serbia. She holds a MSc degree in Applied Mathematics, she is engaged in 3D modeling and loves to read. Living with a cerebral palsy, she is also very active in promoting rights of people with disabilities in Serbia.

A vacant amphitheatre near the Peoples' Friendship Arch in Kyiv, Ukraine is normally a popular spot for students. Under COVID-19, students face increased socio-economic pressures including isolation and food insecurity. United Nations photo: Volodymyr Shu
UNRIC Brussels

During the pandemic, students rely on solidarity

Isolated, abandoned, depressed. Those are the words used to describe how students feel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them must study online with very little social interaction. Unprecedented solitude leads to psychological suffering, in addition to growing impoverishment.

Yente Thomas, 17, in front of the De Mey residential care home where he volunteers in Wachtebeke, Belgium. Photo courtesy Yente Thomas
UNRIC Brussels

Teenage caregiver in Belgium receives COVID-19 vaccine

Yente Thomas is 17 years old and has become one of the first teenagers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium, a country which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yente volunteers in a residential care home and was therefore included in the first phase of the country’s vaccination strategy, along with the care home’s elderly residents. 

Secretary-General looking up next to the UN flag.
António Guterres

2 million COVID-19 deaths: “Our world can only get ahead of this virus one way - together”

Our world has reached a heart-wrenching milestone: the COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed two million lives. In his video message, Secretary-General António Guterres encourages global solidarity to save lives, protect people and help defeat this vicious virus.

Food is delivered to the outskirts of Laranjal do Jari, Amapá, Brazil.
UNIC Rio

Brazilian college student organizes care package deliveries in hometown during COVID-19

Estephany Oliveira, 22, a college student whose studies were interrupted by COVID-19, considered those who might be more at risk during the pandemic. She founded Solidarity Laranjal with her friends to deliver food to impoverished and isolated families in Northern Brazil.

Amédéo Miceli, President of the Red Cross Centre in La Louvière, Belgium, returns to the Red Cross Centre after collecting soup and delivering it to a distribution point. Photo courtesy MCR La Louvière
UNRIC Brussels

COVID-19 drives global surge in volunteering

At the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers have demonstrated an exceptional display of solidarity across the world. Responding to calls for help from their local communities, they are everyday heroes.