Guterres in Senegal: ‘Three crises’ in Africa aggravated by war in Ukraine |

Speaking in Dakar, the capital of the West African nation, Senegal, on his first visit to the continent since the beginning COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Guterres said, “When discussing the socio-economic situation, it is impossible not to mention the war in Ukraine and its impact on Africa.. ”

The United Nations chief made the remarks after meeting with the country’s President Macky Sall, who said the war in Ukraine was “a human tragedy” that could have a “dramatic impact on economies”. economy, especially in developing countries.”

The conflict in Ukraine is driving up global food and fuel prices; Senior United Nations officials are concerned that Cost increase would push more people into hunger and could lead to political unrest and social unrest in parts of Africa, where food prices have risen by a third since last year.

Before the Russian invasion began in February, the combination of climate change, conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the socioeconomic situation in Africa, especially in the region. Sahel region, including Senegal.

Equity and vaccine sovereignty

Earlier, Mr. Guterres and President Sall visited a new high-tech vaccine production facility, currently being built by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar. When completed, it will be able to produce a range of vaccines including Pfizer-BioNTech, one of the most widely used vaccines against COVID-19. It will also be able to produce experimental vaccines against malaria and tuberculosis.

A Senegalese man holds up his COVID-19 vaccination card

UNICEF / Vincent Tremeau

A Senegalese man holds up his COVID-19 vaccination card

Speak at the end World Immunization WeekMr. Guterres said there was a need to “build real vaccine equity around the world,” and that was “It is unacceptable” that almost 80% of Africans are not vaccinated against COVID-19; a situation he calls “moral failure. ”

President Macky Sall has called for pharmaceutical sovereignty by advocating the emergence of an African pharmaceutical industry capable of meeting basic needs and responding to pandemics.

As part of its COVID-19 recovery plan, Senegal is strengthening its drug production sector. It is expected that the vaccination facility will produce at least 50% of the country’s needs.

The vaccine production facility in Dakar, Senegal, will manufacture COVID-19 and other vaccines.

UN News / Daniel Dickinson

The vaccine production facility in Dakar, Senegal, will manufacture COVID-19 and other vaccines.

Mr. Guterres added that the world “wealthiest countries and pharmaceutical companies should accelerate vaccine funding and invest in local production“The kind seen at the Institut Pasteur facility.

Responding to a global crisis

Increasing investment is part of a global strategy to help developing countries face what the United Nations calls “layered crises”. In March 2022, the Head of the United Nations established The Food, Energy and Financial Global Crisis Response Team (GCRG) was set up in response to the crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukrainesays the invasion is having alarming effects on the world economy already ravaged by COVID-19 and climate change.

President Macky Sall is one of six world-renowned leaders named Champion of the group and is supporting the Secretary-General’s call for immediate action to prevent, mitigate and respond with crisis. He is also the President of the African Union for 2022.

The GCRGurges countries to find innovative ways to fund the growing development and humanitarian need around the world and to provide generously and immediately the funds to which they have pledged.

Food, energy and finance

Speaking to reporters in Dakar, Mr. Guterres said “we must ensure a steady flow of food and energy on open markets, removing all unnecessary export restrictions”, saying add that “countries must resist the temptation to hoard and instead release strategic energy reserves. ”

The UN estimates that a quarter of a billion people could be pushed into extreme poverty this year as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. International financial institutions have a key role to play and “must urgently provide a solution to debt relief by increasing liquidity and fiscal space”, the UN chief said, “so that governments can avoid it. default and invest in social safety nets and sustainable development for their people.”

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