United Nations (UN) agencies warn that the Coronavirus pandemic creates risks for billions of people who cannot wash their hands properly, and for hundreds of millions of children who have to cope without school lunches as education facilities are shuttered.
The UN said on Friday in Geneva, citing World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data.
While hand hygiene is known to be a key weapon against the COVID-19 disease, 3 billion people around the world have no adequate access to water or soap to wash their hands, officials said.
WHO Chief Tedros Ghebreyesus recently stressed the importance of clean hands in a video tutorial in which he carefully lathers both sides of his palms and between his fingers, while paying special attention to his thumbs and nails.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that 860 million children and youths are currently out of school and university because of the pandemic.
“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some 300 million primary school children are now missing out on school meals on which they depend,” WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told a news conference in Geneva.
The UN food agency is trying to help affected families by providing them with take-home lunches, food deliveries, vouchers or cash aid.