The UN Secretary-General has urged developed countries, particularly the G20, to step in and assist more vulnerable nations to stop the likely spread of the coronavirus in their territories, particularly in Africa. He was speaking during a virtual press conference from United Nations headquarters in New York.


Antonio Guterres warned that the world is facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the organisation, infecting the global economy and upending people’s lives.

He warned of a global recession being a near certainty and called for help to the developing world to avoid millions dying.

“Our teams in Africa are working very hard with the government to support them, but my very strong appeal to the G20 is to have a particular concern with African countries and other countries in the developing world. We must absolutely be strong in supporting them because the virus is coming to them and their health systems are extremely weak – so they need very strong support from the developed world and if that support is denied, we will have catastrophic consequences.”

“If the virus is not contained because countries don’t have the capacity to contain it, it can spread like wildfire as I mentioned and we could have, even with low rates of mortality, we could have millions of people dying and this is absolutely unacceptable,” says the UN Chief.