Ver Angola


UN: Angola must learn to live with covid-19

The UN resident coordinator in Angola argues that the country should seek a balance between social and economic activities while fighting against covid-19, improving communication on how to live with the virus.


In an interview with Lusa, Pier Paolo Balladelli, who ends his mandate on 5 August, pointed out that the United Nations has been working with the Government and civil society to determine what are the security conditions for pursuing economic and social activities. and improving social cohesion without danger of disease transmission.

"We cannot fail to do what is necessary to continue life and wait for the transmission of covid-19 to finish, which will be with us for a long time depending on the ability of the world to have an effective vaccine with which they could be created. almost normal conditions ", argues the public health specialist.

"Until then, we must continue to take all measures, so that we can continue everything, with precautions to avoid contagion", he stressed.

Paolo Balladelli considered that Angola made correct decisions with regard to covid-19 and had time to prepare and postpone the beginning of the epidemic, but this was expected. "We knew it would arrive and in an accelerated way, it is what is happening now, we are in a phase of community transmission and we have to make efforts to continue with the distance measures, but on the other hand we have all the protocols that allow us to continue with socio-economic activities. We have to reach that balance and wait for the epidemic to go beyond the critical point, the peak, and then start to decrease ", said the official.

For Paolo Balladelli it is crucial to invest in communication "to reduce the impact of this great tragedy that is the covid".

"Where we need to rely more is on communication, a correct education not only about the virus, but what life in the communities should be like, in the presence of the virus. We are still in the [stage of] communication on how to prevent the disease, but we must to pass to a strong communication on how to do things even in the presence of the virus, communicating well all the precautionary measures that are fundamental to allow the economic and social life of the country ", he detailed.

Within the scope of the response to covid-19, the UN framed its activities in Angola in several areas of work, ranging from the medical response to curb the infection, to the socio-sanitary response also directed at other chronic diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis or HIV / AIDS, as well as social protection and support for vulnerable groups.

Balladelli stresses the importance of "keeping the network in communities active", for example, through cash transfers to the poorest families.

According to the UN expert, it is a question not only of giving financial resources to families to satisfy their primary needs, but also of mobilizing the economy at the local level, so that economic activities do not stop.

"Families and small and medium-sized companies, even in times of covid, through well-studied protocols, can continue to do their work in a dynamic way", he stressed, affirming that "an environment where commercialization and productive dynamics can be more profitable and allow food security ".

Paolo Balladelli pointed out that the theme of covid-19 is "universal", stressing that countries with more resources will have to share them "to create greater harmony and not let the virus prosper, creating elements of risk and threats for their own development ".

The UN official stressed the support that has been given to the economic aspect, stressing that it is important to ensure that the debt is sustainable because, otherwise, the most indebted countries will not be able to overcome this situation of the covid-19.

"This negotiation [regarding debt] we hope will be positive for the countries especially for Angola and that, through a reduction in the pressure on debt service, the country will be able to recover resources for its implementation.

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