António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, announced today the establishment of a multi-donor trust fund to help countries stop coronavirus transmission and protect the most vulnerable from the devastating socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
Faced with a global crisis unprecedented in the 75-year history of the United Nations, the UN COVID-19 Multi-Partner Trust Fund will prioritize three critical areas of action as called for by the Secretary-General - stop the outbreak; protect the vulnerable; and build resiliency. It is anticipated that the Fund will require of $1 billion US dollars in the first 9 months.
“COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. “This human crisis demands coordinated, decisive, inclusive and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies – and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries.”
The Fund was presented alongside a new UN report on responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19. The Fund will focus on ending COVID-19 transmission while also addressing the pandemic’s devastating impacts on those most vulnerable to the types of economic shocks and social disruption coronavirus is creating. It will also seek to help countries to build back better, so they are more resilient and better prepared to cope with future health crises.
To meet these objectives, the Fund in close collaboration with national governments, will leverage the complementary expertise and resources of various UN Agencies linking them to private sector resources and magnifying civil society’s reach. “UN Resident Coordinators worldwide will be the drivers of the UN response on the ground, ensuring that the wide and diverse expertise and assets of the United Nations system are used in the most efficient and effective way to support countries”, noted Guterres.
Some governments have already expressed demand for this global instrument under the trusteeship of the UN and leadership of its Secretary-General. For example, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide had said that, a multi-donor trust fund “will provide predictability for our partners and help to make the efforts more effective.” And added that, “it is important to fight the virus all across the world. To succeed, all countries and organisations will have to work together. Norway is ready to contribute to the fund. We encourage other countries to do the same, so that the UN is well equipped to take the lead in coordinating our global response.”
The UN COVID-19 MPTF will be modelled on the successful UN Ebola Response MPTF, which helped countries end and recover from the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak. Its funding will complement the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s Consolidated Global Humanitarian Appeal for COVID-19.
The fund will provide rapid resource allocation and will allow governments, private sector and international financial institutions to pool resources. The Fund will work the authority and leadership of the UN Secretary-General and the UNDP’s Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, the UN office specialized in this type of UN financing vehicles, will act as a trustee. Resources will be allocated to UN Agencies that will bring their specific mandates, operational strengths, programmatic offers and existing procedures and put into place integrated responses. A robust results-based-management will enable monitoring of the fund’s contribution to the coronavirus response and real-time information on contributions and activities approved will be available online.