Norway said Monday it wanted to start a United Nations donors’ fund to help poor countries fight the new coronavirus pandemic.
“We are concerned about the way the virus will affect developing countries which have fragile healthcare systems,” Norway’s Development Aid Minister Dag-Inge Ulstein said in a statement.
“International solidarity across borders is more important than ever. That’s why it is important for us to contribute financially to such a fund in the U.N.,” he added.
The fund is expected to be set up quickly, “possibly even this week,” Norway said, without specifying the amount of its own contribution.
The initiative has been welcomed favorably by U.N. deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, Oslo said.
On Thursday, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned “millions” of lives were at stake if the international community did not show solidarity, especially with the world’s poorest countries, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
According to AFP’s tally on Sunday, more than 324,000 cases have been detected in 171 countries and at least 14,396 deaths.