The United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed convened and opened the Recover Better Together Action Forum this morning. Over 300 participants, 40 speakers, including Ministers of Finance, International Cooperation and Foreign Affairs, ambassadors and partners from the private sector and civil society shared their experience in dealing with the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 and committed to recover better from the crisis. Heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes and Resident Coordinators leading the UN’s COVID-19 response and recovery on the ground also articulated the UN’s offer across different dimensions of the COVID-19 response and shared early results of the UN’s work with national and local authorities to protect lives and livelihoods.
Ms. Mohammed stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the promise of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more relevant and vital than ever – serving as a guide to orient stimulus packages and investments made in the response to the pandemic. The UN Sustainable Development Group has developed a global framework that is guiding its socio-economic response in countries, with the whole UN family implementing it in full emergency mode and a focus on a greener, more inclusive recovery.
“The crisis is a stark reminder that any recovery that fails to address the causes of our present vulnerabilities condemns us to more acute crises in the future,” she said, adding the need to mobilize US$1billion for the Secretary-General’s UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund in the course of the year. Members States are now supporting the Fund with around $64 million. This funding will enable the UN’s work to support vulnerable countries and people to build more resilient communities where people can access the healthcare, decent jobs, and education they need, heeding the Secretary-General's call for global solidarity and immediate response.
Heads of UN entities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) addressed key challenges that the whole system is tackling together, including the need to resume vaccination for children to avoid a loss of 6000 young lives daily. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed that the Fund is critical for the broader COVID-19 response, beyond the health emergency, to immediately save the livelihoods of the most vulnerable and most affected.
During the event, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka announced a new COVID-19 gender monitor. A new civil society data platform led by global south thinktank CEPEI was also launched. Both portals can be found on the Recover Better Fund webpage: https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/recoverbetter
In addition to Member State and private sector contributions, the Fund also enables individuals to donate to currently funded programmes or to tailored recovery efforts in specific countries where the UN works with partners to respond and recover better from COVID-19 and to achieve the SDGs.