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Secretary-General of Commonwealth speaking

Commonwealth collaboration to help fight coronavirus pandemic

21 April 2020

Commonwealth accredited organisations have launched a range of activities to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a virtual meeting convened by the Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, representatives from 19 of the organisations accredited by the Commonwealth shared examples of practical ways in which they are harnessing the ‘family spirit’ which flourishes among the people and institutions of the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth as they work to respond to the pandemic.

Participants outlined the many innovative and inclusive ways in which their organisations are mobilising to fight back against the many social and economic impacts.

Approaches range from repurposing staff and equipment intended for a polio vaccination programme to managing the spread of the outbreak, to sharing public health videos on handwashing, and to recruiting young people for emergency response volunteer roles.

Commonwealth accredited organisations are doing whatever they can to make use of their resources to help others.

The Secretary-General said: “I am so inspired by the wonderful work being carried out across our Commonwealth and would like to thank you all for what you have already done and for what I know you will continue to do.

“Unlike many others, we are lucky that we already have the networks in place that are so critical to tackle this virus. The Commonwealth and our network of organisations are needed now more than ever.

“I am incredibly proud to see the scale of response already mounted and am certain our multilateral and multi-disciplinary response will be successful in tackling this virus.”

The Secretary-General encouraged organisations to share within the network what they learn so that all are able to amplify and support one another in the Commonwealth spirit of goodwill and mutual support.  

The Commonwealth Coronavirus Response Centre on the Innovation Hub provides a dynamic platform for Commonwealth organisations to share information about their work in responding to the pandemic.

Any wishing to do so should submit details for consideration via email to [email protected]