Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, Chairperson of Education Above All and Silatech, joined prominent leaders on Monday in a global advocacy effort, "Rise for All," to support the UN Secretary-General's call for solidarity and urgent action in response to the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19, and to save lives and protect livelihoods, urging leaders in all countries, across all sectors, to address the human crisis of the pandemic.

The group comprised of global female leaders from various sectors was convened by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed to mobilise an extraordinary scale-up of international support and political commitment to "build back better" and ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection. This includes support for the UN Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, an inter-agency mechanism designed to support low- and middle-income countries and people most exposed to the economic hardship and social disruption the pandemic has caused.

In her message, Her Highness Sheikha Moza said, "Before Covid-19, our world was already contending with other pandemics. They are called poverty, hunger, unemployment, illiteracy, war, conflict. Covid-19 is exacerbating these current predicaments exponentially. We cannot turn a blind eye from the long-term consequences that will likely imprint our children and youth."

She continued: "If we do not intervene, the effects of this crisis will have disastrous educational and economic effects on our young people. We will be leading them down a dangerous path of hopelessness and possibly extremism." Through online solutions, Education Above All and Silatech have worked to provide resources to affected children and youth globally to ensure the continuity of education and the accessibility of employment opportunities during this crisis.

Her Highness called on leaders to be proactive and think long-term. "Let's not waste this moment in time to merely react to combat Covid-19 Instead of working from fear, we must take this opportunity to narrow the digital gap and bring innovative solutions to our children and youth," she said.

Speaking on the Rise for All campaign, the UN Deputy Secretary-General said, "Like no other time in recent history, women are on the frontlines of Covid-19 and bearing the brunt of this human crisis. It is time for us to rise as women leaders, taking action to conquer the pandemic and come out stronger so as to keep the world on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030."

In addition to Her Highness Sheikha Moza, the first to join this cohort on Monday were the President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder Melinda Gates, the Prime Minister of Norway and the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocate Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocate Dia Mirza, the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador of Pakistan Muniba Mazari, along with the Executive Directors of Unicef, Henrietta Fore, of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and of UNFPA, Natalia Kanem. (QNA)

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