The United Nations warns of a global mental health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic

LONDON (Reuters) – A mental health crisis looms on the horizon as millions and millions of people around the world are trapped in death and disease, leaving them isolated, impoverished and worried by the Covid-19 pandemic, UN health experts said on Thursday.

Two health workers cry during the memorial of a colleague who died of an infection with the Corona virus in Spain on April 13, 2020. Photo: Susanna Pera – Reuters.

“Isolation, fear, confusion, and economic instability all cause or may be the cause of a psychological crisis,” said Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organization’s mental health department.

During the presentation of a report and the presentation of a United Nations guideline on Covid-19 and mental health, Kestel suggested increasing the number and severity of mental illnesses and called on governments to place this matter “at the center and center” of their pandemic control plans.

“The mental health and well-being of entire societies are severely affected by this crisis, which is a priority that needs to be addressed urgently,” she told reporters.

The report highlights several groups and sectors of society that are at risk of psychological problems, and include children and youth separated from their friends and schools, as well as health-care workers who are witnessing the infection and death of thousands of coronaviruses.

Already emerging studies and statistics show the influence of Covid-19 on mental and mental health globally. Psychologists say children suffer from anxiety, and depression and stress have increased in several countries.

Domestic violence is increasing, and health workers are talking about the increasing need for psychological support.

Reuters last week reported what was reported in interviews with doctors and nurses in the United States who said they or their colleagues had a combination of panic, anxiety, depression, numbness, irritability, restlessness and nightmares.

Outside the health sector, the WHO report says many are concerned about the immediate health consequences and consequences of isolation, while others fear infection, death and the loss of family members.

Millions face economic instability, they lost or face the risk of losing income and livelihoods, the report added. Some also feel anxious and frustrated about the future, as there is a lot of misinformation and rumors about the pandemic and severe foggy about its duration.

The report listed action points that decision-makers can use to “reduce the extreme suffering of hundreds of millions and reduce the long-term social and economic consequences for society”.

These points include addressing the problem of the lack of chronic investments in psychological services and the provision of an “emergency mental health service” via remote healers such as providing telephone consultations to frontline workers to confront the pandemic in the health sector and working proactively with those who suffer from depression and anxiety and those facing the risk of domestic violence and poverty Severe.

Marwa Salam Prepared for the Arab Bulletin – Edit Abu Amal Al Saud


The fight of the “desert flower” continues

She really wants to eat a salmon sandwich now. But there is none in the office tower in Frankfurt where she came for a lecture. And actually the interview with the journalist should start. There is a nervous whisper, then a pack sets off: Waris Dirie, wearing a hat and sunglasses, her stocky manager with curly white hair ring, the two start-up founders who invited Dirie, and the journalist.

Waris Dirie is in her mid-50s and looks like she was in her early 40s. She has shiny, smooth skin and an impressively upright posture. It exudes glamor even in jeans and sneakers. When she laughs, the people around her laugh too, when she frowns, they get nervous. And if she wants a salmon sandwich, go look for it. A restaurant is found on Frankfurt’s Opernplatz, which at least offers pasta with salmon sauce.

You can find our most beautiful, most exciting stories from the time before Corona here:

In 1998 Dirie’s book “Desert Flower” was published. It was filmed in 2008. The book sold more than eleven million copies, and the film attracted more than a million people to cinemas in Germany alone. Before that, Waris Dirie was only a nomad child and a victim of mutilation, then domestic help and cleaning lady, later top model and actress. She then became a UN special envoy and human rights activist. And above all, the woman who stands all over the world for the fight against the cruel practice of female genital mutilation, in English Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM for short.

She wants interview questions in writing

How does it change a person to talk about this trauma over and over again, partly live on television? To be asked by people from all over the world whether you can feel anything down there? And to be attacked by your own family for betraying the traditions?

Finding out is not that easy. Dirie doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. She wants to have the interview questions in advance, then answers them in writing and very briefly through her manager. At the actual interview date, she has no desire to say more. She interrupts the question about current projects with her foundation with a burst of speech: “You see my heart, my soul and my passion, darling. I can’t stand it if anyone on this planet gets hurt, especially if it’s children or women. I don’t understand why people are just waiting, the world is just waiting. What is she waiting for I don’t understand it, and it’s not up to me to solve these problems on my own. ”By the time her food came, she had talked so furiously about the evils of the world that she barely touched it in the end.


UN has to cut Yemen aid in half due to lack of funds

War, destruction, hunger: But the aid funds run dry.
Picture: dpa

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world. But the United Nations must reduce aid. There is no money.

TDespite the dramatic humanitarian situation in Yemen, the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) has to drastically cut its aid to the civil war-stricken country due to lack of funds. The operation in Yemen suffers from a critical funding gap, you have no choice but to cut aid by half, a WFP spokeswoman said on Sunday. From the middle of April, families in need received support only every two months instead of monthly.

A civil war between the Houthi rebels and the internationally recognized government has been raging in the bitterly poor country in the south of the Arabian Peninsula for more than five years. The conflict triggered a humanitarian emergency in Yemen. 24 million people – around 80 percent of the population – rely on help, according to the UN. Many of them are starving. The United Nations speaks of the greatest humanitarian crisis in modern times.

The country also reported its first Corona case last week. Because of the humanitarian situation, observers fear a particularly large number of victims if the virus continues to spread there. An alliance led by Saudi Arabia supports the government in the conflict. The military coalition had surprisingly declared a two-week ceasefire on Wednesday. The UN Security Council called on the Houthis to make similar commitments. However, both sides accuse each other of violating the ceasefire.


The UN asks governments to forgive debts

United Nations – More than 60 United Nations agencies and international organizations on Thursday urged governments to take steps to address the global recession and financial crises caused by the global pandemic. coronavirus, especially in the poorest countries in the world.

Billions of people live in countries on the brink of economic collapse due to the explosive combination of financial problems fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, heavy debt obligations, and declining official development aid”Said the Inter-Agency Working Group on Financing for Development, headed by the UN.

In response to the crisis, in the past month, financial markets around the world suffered heavy losses and intense volatility, he added, and investors pulled around $ 90 billion from emerging markets in the largest cash withdrawal in history. .

In a 207-page report, the task force said that before COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, one in five countries _ with billions of people living in poverty _ was expected to view their income as They were to stagnate or decline in 2020, and the pandemic is now likely to affect billions more.

“The economic and financial shocks associated with COVID-19, such as disruption in industrial production, falling commodity prices, volatility in financial markets and growing insecurity, are derailing the already lukewarm economic growth and aggravating the greater risks of other factors ”, added the report. “These include the setback of multilateralism, discontent and mistrust towards globalization, an increased risk of over-indebtedness and the most frequent and severe climate crises.”

To avoid the crisis of doubt, the members of the working group called for the immediate suspension of debt payments from the least developed and low-income countries that request it.

The collective, which includes the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, also called for urgent measures to reestablish financial stability. It also called for ensuring liquidity sufficiency, strengthening the global financial safety net, promoting trade, increasing access to international financing, and expanding public health spending.


UN boss warns against ‘horrific increase’ reports of domestic violence | NOW

Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) António Guterres warned in the night from Sunday to Monday about the “horrific increase in reports of domestic violence against women”. In several countries, helplines would have spoken twice as many women as normal, but Guterres did not name which countries.

In the Netherlands, there is as yet no significant increase in reports of domestic violence from the Safe at Home organization, as was previously shown by inquiries by this site. The spokesman for the organization was “concerned” because emergency services have less insight than usual on issues such as domestic violence and child abuse.

The same also stings Guterres. “Rescuers are overwhelmed and understaffed. Support groups lack funding and shelters for women are closed or full.”

The Secretary General acknowledges that lockdowns and quarantine measures are necessary in the fight against coronavirus, but women are inadvertently imprisoned with assaults. Because they find it difficult to hide themselves from their partner, they should be offered more options to report domestic violence, Guterres argues.

“Introduce warning systems at supermarkets”

The UN boss calls for a warning system at supermarkets and pharmacies, where women can tell their story without alerting their partner. In addition, more online services need to be set up and human rights organizations deserve support.

Finally, prosecution of abusers should continue to be a high priority and reception centers should be identified as “vital places”, Guterres said. “Protecting women is a primary concern in the fight against coronavirus.”

Follow the latest developments around the virus in us live blog.

The coronavirus in short

  • The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
  • You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
  • The corona measures have resulted in an infected person infecting less than one other person on average. Previously, this so-called reproduction number was between two and three.
  • The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
  • Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
  • Read here what precautions you should take.


Mr. Xi Harvests the Harvest | TIME ONLINE

If he’s from China speaks, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has had nothing but praise for months. At the end of January, the number of people infected with corona in China rose steadily, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) sat next to China’s President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and spoke appreciatively of the “seriousness” with which the country was fighting the epidemic .

This article comes from the WirtschaftsWoche.

In mid-February, when the Chinese government delayed the visit of a WHO research team, there was only positive news from the head of the agency. The WHO chief now praised the “leadership” that Xi in the middle of the severe crisis.

Meanwhile, Tedros is recommending China’s reaction, which is as tough, ruthless as it is consistent, to the rest of the world as a blueprint to combat the Covid 19 pandemic. In his hymns of praise, he does not mention that employees in-house would rather emphasize Singapore and South Korea as role models. Two countries that use less repressive measures, but more tests and technology.

The United States is listening

Coincidence? Hardly likely. China could be too hard to touch WHO literally barely perform anymore. Beijing has become the second largest financier of the United Nations, including the WHO, behind the United States.

But money is only one thing. Skillful human resources policy and power play are the other side of the strategy with which China has increasingly gained influence and weight in international organizations. The Chinese have discovered global institutions as the transmission belt of power. “There is a specific strategy behind it,” says Brett Schaefer of the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

China’s influence is so great today that even the US president Donald Trump, actually a self-declared enemy of multinational organizations, is forced to take countermeasures. In January, he appointed diplomat Mark Lambert, previously his husband for North Korea, as a special envoy against China’s “malign influence” in international authorities.

Trump was startled by a crash. Last summer was the one of the United States preferred candidate for the presidency of the World Food Organization FAO just failed. The Georgian Davit Kirvalidze received twelve votes in contrast to the Chinese candidate Qu Dongyu, who united 108 countries behind him. China had spared no means to secure support for its former vice minister of agriculture. Beijing forgave Cameroon alone $ 78 million in debt so the African country took its candidate out of the race and secured the majority for the Chinese.

No other permanent member of the UN Security Council currently heads as many UN agencies as China, which holds four top positions. Liu Fang manages the Icao Aviation Organization as Secretary General, Li Yong leads the Industrial Development Organization. And Houlin Zhao is in charge of the ITU international telecommunication union, the only organization worldwide that deals with the technical aspects of telecommunications. Tedros’s predecessor at WHO was also a Chinese, Margaret Chan.

The Chinese remain faithful servants of their homeland in their multilateral offices. For example, the Icao Secretary General prevented Taiwan from attending the Aviation Organization meetings. And the ITU general secretary ensured that his authority strongly promotes Chinese projects such as the New Silk Road.


Despite UN resolutions: North Korea repeatedly tests missiles

Nordkorea fired rockets towards the open sea for the fourth time this month. The General Staff in South Korea said that two missiles, which were probably once again two short-range ballistic missiles, had been launched on Sunday morning on the east coast of North Korea and flown about 230 kilometers. UN resolutions prohibit the self-declared nuclear power of North Korea from testing ballistic missiles of any range, which, depending on the type, can also carry nuclear warheads.

The highest command authority in South Korea criticized the behavior of the isolated neighboring state, similar to a missile test a week ago in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. “In a situation where the whole world is having trouble with Covid-19, this military action by North Korea is highly inadequate.” It must immediately stop testing.

Japan also assumed ballistic missiles. “We will thoroughly investigate why North Korea has challenged the international community so often,” Defense Minister Taro Kono was quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

The missile tests in recent weeks are also seen as an attempt by North Korea to improve weapons technology while negotiations with the United States on its nuclear weapons program continue to stall. According to South Korea, during the test on March 21, two rockets were fired in the west of North Korea and flown more than 400 kilometers – also towards the Japanese Sea. Experts believed it was possible for North Korea to test a new solid propellant-powered rocket system.

Before that, the country had fired rockets on March 9th. According to South Korea, various types of multiple rocket launchers were used during ongoing military exercises. North Korea had resumed testing in early March after a three-month hiatus. It was the country’s first missile test since late November.

Pyongyang has for years been driving the development of missiles that could be equipped with nuclear warheads. It is therefore subject to harsh international sanctions. The second summit between North Korea and the United States in February last year in Vietnam failed. Neither side was able to agree on a roadmap for North Korea’s nuclear disarmament or US compensation.


UN says disinformation about COVID-19 is the new enemy

United Nations – The world is not fighting alone against the “common enemy” dthe coronavirus “but our enemy is also growing disinformation” about COVID-19, the disease it causes, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday.

To overcome the virus, “We urgently need to promote facts and science” and “promote hope and solidarity in the face of despair and division,” he added.

The UN will launch a Communications Initiative for Solidarity against COVID-19 to quickly inform people about the facts and the science “and promote and inspire acts of humanity around the world,” Guterres reported.

Guterres also urged all countries to “face the increase in crimes of intolerance against men and groups believed to be associated with the coronavirus”. Although he did not identify anyone specifically, Asians, especially those of Chinese ethnicity, reported being the target of attacks.

Miguel Moratinos, head of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and Adama Dieng, UN special adviser for the prevention of genocide, issued a joint statement on Thursday expressing great concern about the increasing stigma and speeches and crimes of I hate the pandemic.

“We all face the same enemy, one who is invisible, advances fast and causes chaos indiscriminately,” they said. “But allowing the fabric of our societies to rip apart is probably one of the most serious consequences that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing in our world.”

Guterres also called on countries to help achieve a positive response to his call to call on all sides in conflict around the world to “silence the weapons and instead help create safe corridors for aid that saves lives and opens precious windows to diplomacy. “

The Secretary General also asked nations to respond generously to the request for $ 2 billion to finance the fight against COVID-19 in the poorest areas of the planet.

“We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable: millions upon millions of people who are less able to protect themselves,” Guterres said. “The recovery must address inequalities, including gender inequalities, that are making many more people vulnerable to social and economic crises.”

Guterres participated in the first joint informative videoconference for the 193 members of the UN, in which the presidents of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council also participated, and which included a question section. The video failed for about 10 minutes during the Secretary General’s speech, but recovered.


Powers hoard equipment and medicines, alert AMLO

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that during the virtual summit with G20 leaders, he requested UN intervention to stop the hoarding of medicines and medical equipment, and avoid speculation in the purchase of supplies by the powers.

“First, that the UN intervenes so that all peoples and countries are guaranteed equal access to medicines and equipment that, due to the emergency, are being monopolized by those with the most economic possibility.”

In his morning conference, the president reported that he required the United Nations “to intervene so that there is no speculation in the purchase of medicines, equipment and fans.

“That the great powers, the hegemonies make a commitment to truce at this time, avoid unilateral tariff policies, not trade monopolies, review the management of oil prices that is greatly affecting the world economy, help stabilize financial markets and stop speculation, “he said.

López Obrador asked employers for responsibility and reproached that some dismiss their workers or do not guarantee their salary, while gas stations have not adjusted the price of fuel downwards.

Ensuring that the crisis generated by the covid-19 is already leaving lessons on a global scale, López Obrador called on the members of the G20 to make decisions with the support of doctors and scientists so as not to make mistakes, since “politicians are not todologists” .

In his speech during the extraordinary virtual summit of the G20, López Obrador expressed that the crisis is not solved only with hospitals, but with the support of the population.

“The main thing in the face of this type of adversity is to rely on specialists, in this case we have relied on doctors and scientists; Politicians are not todologists, we need the advice of specialists so as not to make mistakes, “he stressed.

He insisted that the Mexican family is the main social security institution and that the population at risk of contracting the virus is cared for as elderly, pregnant and chronically ill people.

In commercial matters and the closure of some companies, the president assured that “the majority of Mexicans are acting in solidarity, very few cases of abuse … I call on all merchants, entrepreneurs, to act responsibly, Help us. “

Therefore, the head of the Executive warned that next Monday the Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office (Profeco) will present a report in which they will announce the companies that are abusing the health emergency to give higher prices.

However, the Tabasco man took the opportunity to thank the companies that are giving permission for the elderly, the chronically ill and pregnant women to be absent.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sánchez Cordero, called on the population to take advantage of the quarantine in the face of the coronavirus pandemic to “feed your soul and spirit.”



At the National Palace, the President announced his decision “to have stricter sanitary measures at airports, entry and exit” and clarified that airspace has not been closed or flights will not be canceled, but special attention will be paid to travel between Mexico and the EU.

“Tell our countrymen that if they can, they will not travel to Mexico. If there is urgency of course and there is no restriction, they can come. “

He took the opportunity to thank the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, for accepting the landing of a Mexican Air Force plane that took Argentines to their country and picked up Mexicans who want to return.

In addition, he mentioned that they are doing a process with Canada so that Mexicans who have an employment contract can move to that country under the necessary sanitary controls.


The world’s leading powers grouped in the G20 agreed to create a united front against the Covid-19 pandemic and inject $ 5 trillion into the global economy, as well as providing strong and large-scale fiscal support.

“We commit ourselves to take all the necessary sanitary measures and seek to guarantee adequate financing to contain the pandemic and protect people, especially the most vulnerable,” the joint statement details.

After the virtual summit in which the G20 Heads of State participated, it was determined that the approved resources will be provided as fiscal policies, economic measures and guarantee schemes aimed at countering the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic caused by Covid -19.

In addition, they pledged to guarantee the cross-border flow of medical supplies, agricultural products and other services to guarantee the basic needs of the population.

“The G20’s collective action will amplify its impact, ensure coherence and expand synergies. The magnitude and focus of this response will help the recovery of the global economy and will lay a strong foundation for job protection and growth recovery, “the agreement said.

It also aims to provide aid to all countries that need assistance, as well as to coordinate the public health and financial measures that are necessary during the contingency experienced on a global scale.

In this sense, it was agreed to work in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations.

To safeguard the global economy, the G20 nations committed to providing strong and large-scale fiscal supports, in addition to ensuring the cross-border flow of medical supplies, agricultural products and other services.

As part of the agreed actions, finance ministers and central bank governors were determined to develop a G20 action plan in response to Covid-19 and work with international organizations to quickly provide appropriate international financial assistance.


The United States could become the next epicenter of the coronavirus, says WHO

GENEVA / TOKYO (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, which eventually forced reluctant organizers to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

Britain joined the ranks of bloc countries to try to detain the virus, and data showed that commercial activity collapsed from Australia, Japan and Western Europe at a record pace in March, with the United States expecting it to be equally terrible.

“The coronavirus epidemic represents a serious external shock to the macro outlook, similar to a large-scale natural disaster,” said analysts at the BlackRock Investment Institute.

But amid the sadness of the harvest, the Chinese province of Hubei, where the virus was first identified in December, said it would lift travel restrictions for people leaving the region as the epidemic subsides.

Confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide exceeded 377,000 in 194 countries and territories earlier Tuesday, according to a Reuters count, over 16,500 of them fatal.

In Geneva, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters that there has been a “big acceleration” in infections in the United States.

In the previous 24 hours, 85% of new cases were in Europe and the United States, and of these, 40% were in the United States.

As of Monday, the virus had infected over 42,000 people there, killing at least 559.

Asked if the United States could become the new epicenter, Harris said, “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the United States, so it has that potential.”

US state and local officials have denounced the lack of coordinated federal action, claiming that taking action on their own has put them in competition for supplies.

President Donald Trump acknowledged the difficulty.

“The world market for masks and fans is crazy. We’re helping states get equipment, but it’s not easy, “he tweeted.


The organizers of the Olympic Games and the Japanese government had clung to the hope that the biggest sporting event in the world could go on, but in the end they bowed to the inevitable to make Tokyo 2020 the last and greatest victim of a calendar. devastated sportsman.

FILE PHOTO: A lonely person walks in the rain in a mostly deserted Times Square after the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, New York, USA, March 23, 2020. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri

After a phone call with the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on July 24th. Event 9 will be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the latest, as proof of victory over the coronavirus.

“President Bach has said he agrees, 100%.”

It was the first time in the 124-year history of the Olympics that they had been postponed, although they had been canceled three times during the two world wars of the 20th century.

Of the top 10 countries by number of cases, Italy reported the highest mortality rate, around 10%, which at least partially reflects its elderly population. The global mortality rate – the ratio of confirmed deaths to infections – is around 4.3%, although national data may vary widely based on how many tests are performed.

Britain, believed by experts about two weeks behind Italy in the epidemic cycle, began to curb unprecedented peacetime movements on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the country to stay home.

The streets of the capital were strangely silent since all but the essential shops closed and people only went to work if it was inevitable.

Johnson had resisted the pressure to impose a complete blockade even if other European countries had done so, but he was forced to change course as projections showed that the health system could be overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, the Chinese province of Hubei, the original center of the epidemic, will raise the sidewalks on people leaving the area, but other regions will strengthen controls as new cases will double due to imported infections.

Presentation (7 images)

The capital of Wuhan province, which has been completely blocked since January 23, lifted travel restrictions on April 8.

However, the risk of infections abroad appears to be on the rise, prompting more stringent screening and quarantine measures in major cities such as the capital Beijing.

Global interactive spread of graphical tracing of coronavirus: open in an external browser – here

Additional reports by Emma Farge, Stephanie Nebehay, Karolos Grohmann, Leika Kihara, Sakura Murakami, Lusha Zhang and Huizhong Wu; Written by Nick Macfie; Editing by Jon Boyle and Angus MacSwan

Our standards:Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.