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Save the Children backs call for concerted global action on coronavirus

Save the Children | London | 7 April 2020

Save the Children has joined forces with 150 world leaders in urging the G20 to set up a pledging conference and task force to co-ordinate a global response to Covid-19.

Kevin Watkins, the charity’s UK chief executive and Inger Ashing, the CEO of Save the Children International, are among the signatories to a letter calling for urgent measures to prevent a second wave of the pandemic.

The letter, signed by Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister, Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate, and Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s widow, also demands rapid support for the weakest health services in Africa and Asia and debt relief to help poor countries fight the disease.

It says there should be enhanced co-operation among G20 leaders in the race for vaccines, treatment and vital equipment such as ventilators.

Save the Children, which is responding to the pandemic in more than 100 countries, is strengthening community health systems, safety nets for those who lose their livelihoods, education and child protection.

Kevin Watkins said: “The pandemic is not just a public health crisis, it is also a threat to child rights. There is a grave danger that progress achieved over the last 20 years in reducing poverty, cutting child deaths and expanding access to learning will be reversed.”

“Unless there is concerted global action, it will be the poorest and most vulnerable who will bear the brunt in Africa and Asia, just as they have in Europe and North America.”

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