During these turbulent times, ongoing humanitarian disasters are often overshadowed by the coronavirus. There seems to be a tendency to overlook commitments to international cooperation and assistance. We currently experience this both within the European Union and the United Nations.
The EU failed to answer Italy’s request for assistance at the beginning of the outbreak, which has contributed to mistrust in the European partnership. If the EU and the UN do not maintain unity, cohesion and support between its member states, there are risks of long-term impacts.
Even before the corona crisis, there were news of inhumane conditions in Greek refugee camps, and tensions across the Greek border rose to the spotlight. According to a recent report by Amnesty International, migrants were shot dead attempting to cross the border from Turkey to Greece.
Experts have highlighted the increased health risks associated with the possible mass spread of the coronavirus in overcrowded Greek Camps. They have been urging EU countries to assist in order to avoid a medical disaster. The case of Greece is one of many examples of how the already vulnerable are at a considerable risk of getting affected by the virus. This proves the need for all of us to do our part in tackling this crisis together – on the individual, national and international level.
As the United Nation’s secretary-general António Guterres writes: “Only by coming together will the world be able to face down the Covid-19 pandemic and its shattering consequences”. This is true for the ongoing situation, as well as in future global challenges.
We should prevent further crises from overwhelming us by increasing our preparedness. We should make sure a virus, that knows no borders, will not disproportionately affect humans based on an unequal global system. We should work in collaboration to make sure vulnerable communities survive.
Our eyes should not turn away from refugee camps in Greece, the millions of refugees and internally displaced people in Yemen or any others that face increased challenges during these times. The corona crisis should teach us that global pressures are better handled together and that human rights and international unity are needed to provide a world liveable for all.