Tourism provides livelihoods for millions of people and allows billions more to appreciate their own and different cultures, as well as the natural world. For some countries, it can represent over 20 per cent of their GDP and, overall, it is the third largest export sector of the global economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world of work upside down. It is having a dramatic effect on the jobs, livelihoods and well-being of workers and their families and on enterprises across the globe, particularly the small and medium sized.

The United Nations Network on Migration is concerned by reports of States in many regions using forced return of migrants as a measure in response to COVID-19.

Today, following consultations with the government and international partners, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim and humanitarian partners are launching the Lebanon Emergency Appeal.

The UN’s Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock, has called for swift and determined action to avoid the most destabilizing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as he releases a $6.7 billion appeal and an updated global plan to fight coronavirus in fragile countries. COVID-19 has now reached every country, with nearly 3,596,000 confirmed cases and over 247,650 deaths worldwide. The peak of the disease in the world’s poorest countries is not expected until some point over the next three to six months.

From building global supply chains and air bridges delivering masks and medical equipment, to communicating life-saving health messages from loudspeakers mounted on cars and bicycles, aid groups large and small are supporting the world’s most vulnerable people in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Humanitarian organizations have mobilized to reach people most in need, both with specific COVID-19 assistance but also to continue their life-saving work for some 117 million women, men and children caught in conflict, poverty and climate-related emergencies.

The 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan for Zimbabwe was launched today, targeting 5.6 million people with food assistance and support in the areas of health, water-sanitation-hygiene, education, protection, nutrition, shelter, and camp coordination and management. The plan requests for a total of US$715 million from international community.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core. The IMF has just reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021, declaring that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009.

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the Group of Friends on Climate, in New York today:

It is indeed a pleasure to be with you today, and thank you for your strong commitment to climate action.

I welcome this opportunity to meet early in the New Year to discuss what we must do together in the pivotal year ahead. We have a huge task ahead of us.

The World Social Report 2020 examines the impact of four such megatrends on inequality: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration. Technological change can be an engine of economic growth, offering new possibilities in health care, education, communication and productivity.

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