Africa continues to fight coronavirus
By Staff Reporter
THE secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) António Guterres has said that Africa’s rich, diverse cultural and natural heritage is vital for sustainable development in alleviating poverty, and building and maintaining peace on the continent that is severely hit by Covid-19 pandemic.
Guterres said this in a press statement issued this week on Africa Day that is commemorated on May 25 every year.
“This year’s Africa Day highlights arts, culture and heritage as levers for building the Africa we want. Africa’s rich and diverse cultural and natural heritage is important for sustainable development, poverty reduction, and building and maintaining peace. It can provide a strong foundation for inclusive economic progress as the continent strives to meet the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Guterres also said raised concern about the non-stop increase inequalities on the continent as the majority of Africans are still struggling to access basic needs such as adequate clean water, health care and education, while the pandemic has even worsen the situation.
“Covid-19 has triggered a global recession that has exposed deep-seated inequalities and vulnerabilities. It is endangering the hard-work gained throughout Africa and beyond. The pandemic has also heightened the drivers of conflict by increasing inequalities and revealing the fragility of governance in many nations, particularly in the delivery of basic services such as healthcare, education, electricity, water and sanitation. The impact of the pandemic has also been exacerbated by the climate crisis, which disproportionately affects developing nations,” said Guterres.
Even though most African countries have access to various Covid-19 vaccines, there is still a big concern that the wealthy nations are too reluctant to equally distribute the vaccines, he therefore calls for Africans to unite in fighting the virus.
“To end the pandemic, support economic recovery and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to ensure equitable and universal access to Covid-19 vaccines. Currently, there is a profound imbalance in vaccine distribution among countries. The latest figures show that to date, African countries have received just two percent of vaccines. On this Africa Day, I renew my call to developed nations to stand in solidarity with Africa,” said Guterres.