The government response to the global coronavirus pandemic will impact the level of trust and cooperation from people, that is why it’s important to communicate clearly and put in place democratic processes when dealing with the threats of the pandemic.
UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha in a virtual briefing with the local reporters said that “COVID-19 is not going away tomorrow, that is why as the government there a need for consultation with people.”
He stressed that “people’s fears that the government must listen using science, not politics, and not conjecture.”
Mr. Samarasinha said the UN is ready to help Palau under the framework on socio-economic support to countries and societies in the face of COVID-19.
The framework stresses the importance of trust, “as trust in messages from authorities on prevention is critical. The response, on the other hand, can also rebuild trust between authorities and the population, but also among groups, by ensuring inclusivity, dialogue, and grievance mechanisms, accountability, adherence to human rights, and delivery.”
Mr. Samarasinha also lauded Palau for the inclusion of its thousands of foreign workers in providing relief to cope with the threats of the pandemic.
“Hats off to Palau for actually including migrant workers,” he said.
As the UN has advocated, every country, “have an obligation to ensure everyone is protected and included in the response to this crisis.”
He said that globally there have been instances of hate speech, stigma, discrimination, and xenophobia targeting migrant workers as a result of COVID-19. He said targeting migrants workers or foreigners, in general, is a violation of human rights.
United Nations he said are working to ensure that solidarity prevails during the pandemic especially ensuring that all sectors of the society are included.