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Saleh, Lyons stress united front against Covid-19

Saleh, Lyons stress united front against Covid-19

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May 06, 2020 - 14:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): First Vice-President Amrullah Saleh and Special Representative of UN Secretary-General Deborah Lyons have discussed the Covid-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impacts on people’s lives in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

A joint statement from the UN mission here said the two sides agreed that collective efforts of all Afghans were needed to tackle the pandemic that had already killed nearly a quarter million people around the worldinfo-icon.

Saleh affirmed the government’s desire to hold regular strategic meetings with the United Nations on the Covid-19 response to maximise the contribution of UN agencies and ensure full coordination.

It was the first meeting between Lyons and Saleh after she had held consultations with President Ashraf Ghani, who has designated his first vice-president to lead the government’s coordination with the UN agencies.

Lyons, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), recognised the government’s leadership role to date and acknowledged the importance of the eight priorities it has identified.

This work has already established a detailed plan for the healthinfo-icon sector by the Ministry of Public Health, and would soon lead to plans in the other priority areas.

The United Nations promised to work in support of such plans in key areas like health, educationinfo-icon, food security and livelihoods, as well as returnees and internally displaced people.

Saleh asked the UN to respect and support the government's leadership in handling the coronavirus crisis. He invited the special representative and UNAMA Humanitarian Coordinator Toby Lanzer to join him in attending meetings of the inter-ministerial emergency committee and in creating a joint framework for action whereby UN agencies could work closely in support of different ministries.

Lyons highlighted the need for deep collaboration with all partners to create a united front against Covid-19.

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