Africa: Women Leaders Rise in Solidarity to Save Lives and Protect Livelihoods

press release

"Rise for All" calls on all leaders to meet the human crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and fully fund the UN Response and Recovery Trust Fund

Supporting the UN Secretary-General's call for solidarity and urgent action in response to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, an initial group of prominent women today joined a global advocacy effort to save lives and protect livelihoods, urging leaders in all countries, across all sectors, to address the human crisis of the pandemic.

Convened by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Rise for All brings together women leaders to mobilize support for the UN roadmap to tackle the development emergency, as laid out in the United Nations Framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19: Shared responsibility, global solidarity and urgent action for people in need, issued today.

"Like no other time in recent history, women are on the frontlines of COVID-19 and bearing the brunt of this human crisis," said the UN Deputy Secretary-General. "It is time for us to rise as women leaders, taking action to conquer the pandemic and come out stronger so as to keep the world on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030."

The first to join this cohort today are the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, the Prime Minister of Norway and Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the Secretary-General, Erna Solberg, Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the Secretary-General Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the Secretary-General Dia Mirza, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador of Pakistan Muniba Mazari, along with the Executive Directors of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and of UNFPA, Natalia Kanem.

Together, the women are supporting the United Nations' call for an extraordinary scale-up of international support and political commitment to "build back better" and ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection. This includes support for the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, an inter-agency mechanism designed to help those countries and people most exposed to the economic hardship and social disruption the pandemic has caused.

The Fund aims to mobilize US$1 billion over the first nine months, and US$2 billion over two years, to support low- and middle-income countries, including Small Island Developing States and vulnerable groups such as women and children who are disproportionately bearing the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.

The Netherlands today announced an initial contribution 15 million Euros (US$16.6 million) to the Fund, following in the footsteps of Norway and Denmark, who have thus far pledged 150 million Norwegian Krone (US$14.1 million) and 50 million Danish Krone (US$7.3 million), respectively.

Over the coming weeks, more women leaders, including from the political, multilateral and business sectors, are expected to join Rise for All, adding their voices in support of the United Nations roadmap for social and economic recovery, and to advocate a fully funded COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

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