On 16 March 2020, near the Syrian town of Atme, close to the border with Turkey in Idlib province, a Syrian medical volunteer affiliated with a Turkish-registered Syrian relief organization sterilizes the inside of a make-shift classroom at a camp for displaced Syrians, as part of measures of COVID-19 coronavirus disease prevention.

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Until 3 April 2020, COVID-19 has killed more than 45,000 people worldwide and there are nearly 900,000 reported cases. It has a foothold across the globe and is now reaching countries that were already facing humanitarian crisis because of conflict, natural disasters and climate change.
The response plan will be implemented by UN agencies, with international NGOs and NGO consortia playing a direct role in the response. It will:
  • deliver essential laboratory equipment to test for the virus, and medical supplies to treat people;
  • install handwashing stations in camps and settlements;
  • launch public information campaigns on how to protect yourself and others from the virus; and
  • establish airbridges and hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to move humanitarian workers and supplies to where they are needed most.

A 3-year-old girl receives a vaccine shot at a community health centre in Beijing, China, on 26 March 2020. Provinces other than Hubei, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, gradually resumed full vaccination services that had been halted due to the outbreak.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said:
COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back. Individual country responses are not going to be enough… We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable – millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves. This is a matter of basic human solidarity. It is also crucial for combating the virus. This is the moment to step up for the vulnerable.

On 9 March 2020, children wash their hands with soap at a UNICEF-supported learning centre in the Kutupalong camp, a Rohingya refugee camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.As March 2020, over 216,000 children in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar have learned to practice hand washing every day as part of life-skills education. Coronavirus Covid-19 is impacting more and more countries around the world as the pandemic spreads leading to a global health crisis. Hygiene practices are at the forefront of this battleground, providing the best defence against disease transmission. However, in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, this poses a formidable challenge. The risk for any infectious disease transmission is continuously high in the densely populated camps, which are home to 850,000 Rohingya refugees, over half of whom are children.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said:
COVID-19 has already upended life in some of the world’s wealthiest countries. It is now reaching places where people live in warzones, cannot easily access clean water and soap, and have no hope of a hospital bed if they fall critically ill… To leave the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries to their fate would be both cruel and unwise. If we leave coronavirus to spread freely in these places, we would be placing millions at high risk, whole regions will be tipped into chaos and the virus will have the opportunity to circle back around the globe… Our priority is to help these countries prepare and continue helping the millions who rely on humanitarian assistance from the UN to survive.

Twins Ana (7) and Kaja (7) with books spread out over the table follow the TV-classroom programme broadcast on national television.They follow the programme with the same level of seriousness they usually do when at school. Their biggest concern is whether the TV-classroom teacher will assign them a dictation test – a test they find most challenging as second graders. Like all children in North Macedonia they have been at home since 10 March 2020 when the government temporary closed schools due to the spread of COVID-19. width=

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said:
Children are the hidden victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and school closures are affecting their education, mental health and access to basic health services. The risks of exploitation and abuse are higher than ever, for boys and girls alike. For children on the move or living through conflicts, the consequences will be unlike any we have ever seen. We must not let them down.
UNICEF HK launched an emergency action entitled ‘for every child, hygiene’, aiming to prevent and control infection and safeguard the health of disadvantaged children and their families by strengthening their awareness on hygienic practices, including hygiene bag distribution and self-sanitizing disinfectant coating service.
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