The domestic media has primarily focused on the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, have we all taken a moment to think about the rest of the world? How is the pandemic affecting vulnerable communities around the world, such as women and girls, refugees, ethnic and religious minorities, and the poor? What about people who have limited access to health care, education and social services? The COVID-19 crisis has forced hundreds of millions of people into unemployment, completely altered the global food supply chain and has further exasperated many humanitarian crises.
The coronavirus has no borders and we should all stand in solidarity worldwide while fighting the pandemic. Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley has been an advocate for all human beings and recognizes the United States must take a greater leadership role. Merkley has cosponsored the COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act (CIRRA), which authorizes $9 billion in international assistance to meet urgent humanitarian and global health needs, protect refugees and asylum seekers, combat gender-based violence and restore U.S. contributions to the World Health Organization, among other urgent priorities.
In addition, Merkley, through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has pressed the State Department to allot funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for the needs of vulnerable communities worldwide, and to contribute $500 million to the United Nations’ global COVID-19 response plan.
Merkley’s leadership and advocacy is essential to protecting all human beings from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.