UN chief calls for a 'war-time' response to pandemic by G20 nations

New York (dpa) - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for a "war-time" response package to the coronavirus pandemic from the G20 group of leading economic powers.

G20 leaders "must inject massive resources into economies, reaching double digit percentage points in the world's gross domestic product," Guterres said in a letter, dated Monday, seen by dpa.
He said the coordinated stimulus bill should be "in the trillions of dollars" to help poor countries.
"We must create the conditions and mobilize the resources necessary to ensure that developing countries have equal opportunities to respond to this crisis in their communities and economies," the UN chief wrote. "Anything short of this commitment would lead to a pandemic of apocalyptic proportions affecting us all."
Guterres also called for a ban on tariffs, quotas and other restrictions on trade, and for the waiving of sanctions to ensure countries have access to food and medical supplies.
He welcomed the G20 countries' decision to convene an emergency virtual summit on the coronavirus response, after urging global leaders to coordinate much more strongly in recent days.
The UN chief on Monday called for a global ceasefire so the world can focus on fighting the pandemic.
Guterres is set to launch a 2-billion-dollar humanitarian appeal to help poor nations combat the outbreak on Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 24th 2020

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