UN to create global coronavirus fund to assist developing countries

A volunteer from the COVID-19 Action Group hands out information leaflets and soap to residents of the Diepsloot Township in Johannesburg, South Africa, 21 March 2020. [Kim Ludbrook/EPA/EFE]

The United Nations will create a fund to support the treatment of coronavirus patients worldwide, Norway’s foreign ministry said on Monday (23 March).

“A multi-donor fund under UN auspices will provide predictability for our partners and help to make the efforts more effective,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement.

The purpose of the fund is to assist developing countries with weak health systems in addressing the crisis as well as to tackle the long-term consequences, the ministry added.

A formal announcement could be made later this week, it said.

Almost 340,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world and more than 14,500 have died, with deaths in Italy surpassing the toll in China, where the outbreak began, according to a Reuters tally.

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