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Coronavirus

UN Says Pandemic Effort Hindered by Conflicts

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations humanitarian chief says that despite last year’s U.N. call for global cease-fires to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, many conflicts never stopped, including in Syria, Yemen and Congo and new ones erupted.

Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that this has made it more difficult to control the spread of the coronavirus and care for infected people in many countries. He cites “multiple reports of atrocities” against civilians caught in conflicts during the pandemic.

Lowcock says insecurity, sanctions, counter-terrorism measures and administrative hurdles are hindering humanitarian operations. And he says the pandemic has made aid deliveries worse because of suspended flights, border closures, quarantine measures and lockdowns.

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