'International co-operation needed to fight Covid-19'
April 30 2020 11:09 PM
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani

QNA/Doha

*FM: Qatar has taken proactive measures to protect the society, support businesses, and boost the economy through stimulus packages for SMEs
*Qatar will host the best World Cup ever in 2022
*Covid-19 may lead to global economic crisis

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani stressed that the priority of Qatar from day one in confronting the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic was to ensure the health and safety of all citizens and residents.

This came during the hosting of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday in the "Covid Action Platform" at the World Economic Forum under the title" How to defeat the epidemic and protect livelihoods worldwide", which was opened by President of World Economic Forum Borge Brende, with the participation of several government officials, chief executives, and heads of humanitarian organisations.

HE the Foreign Minister called on the international community to co-operate and stand together in facing the economic consequences of the pandemic, whether it is a decrease in oil prices or a possible economic recession. He said that the objective conditions indicate that the next stage will not be easy for the global economy.

In this regard, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs referred to a recent speech of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani , inviting heads of countries of the world, especially the major industrialised nations and relevant international organisations, to cooperate and not compete in discovering and producing vaccines and treatments, stressing that it would not be possible to face the economic and social consequences of the pandemic without international cooperation at the highest and broadest levels.

He noted that Qatar has taken proactive measures to protect the society, support businesses, and boost the economy through the stimulus packages that the government has announced, particularly for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Responding to a question about how the Qatari procedures are integrated into the long term in the broad fields of international cooperation, HE Sheikh Mohamed said Qatar has been supporting the United Nations Development Programme with resources.

HE the Foreign Minister said Qatari production has increased as new factories for the manufacture of personal protective equipment have been set up and today Qatar produces eight million masks every week. He added that the state has opened a ventilator factory, which in the first stage will produce 2,000 devices per week to meet the needs of ventilators for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, locally and abroad.

The minister said Qatar's vision for the future is formed by its belief in strong teamwork and coordination , adding that Qatar is aware of the diversity of the capabilities of the markets in the face of the pandemic, yet it considers that such condition as an opportunity and not a setback for active and smart investment approaches.

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the government of Qatar supports international efforts as it has sent aid to 20 countries so far, including assistance in the field of medical supplies, adding that the Qatari air force is building field hospitals in friendly countries. Qatar is contributing to the work of multilateral health care institutions that are working to develop vaccines . Qatar has already contributed $140mn to these organisations.

HE the Foreign Minister said that Qatar is also working with the United Nations Development Programme in the Innovation Lab that includes 47 countries to create solutions to address the negative consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that Qatar will continue to support global institutions and has kept its commitments to develop health, prosperity, and stability in the region.

On the specific economic and health measures taken by Qatar in the long run, HE the minister said his country has initiated unprecedented financial incentives to protect the economy, especially the private sector, adding that the government was proactive in designing policies to protect employees, especially the migrant worker community.

In response to questions, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said Qatar's strategy to confront the Covid-19 is based on three main pillars: the first is to protect citizens and residents and ensure the resilience of the health care system, the second is to ensure that the impact on the economy and the society is at the lowest level, and the third is Qatar's international commitment to stand with other countries that need help.

HE the Foreign Minister said that from a geopolitical point of view, some complications will arise if the economic situation is affected, which may lead to social unrest in some countries, especially those that lack the necessary capabilities. "Therefore, there might be some changes, especially in the Middle East, which include some countries that are either currently suffering from crises or lack the financial resources to face this crisis." He expressed hope that these countries will have the necessary support to overcome the social unrest that they may face, especially in the event of economic consequences.

In response to a question about hosting the 2022 World Cup, HE the Foreign Minister said: "We are confident that we will organise the best FIFA World Cup; I can confirm this , and we also believe that the importance of the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup has increased because it will be the first festive and entertaining occasion in which the world meets after the pandemic." He expressed hope the pandemic will disappear, and the World Cup will be held for the peoples of the world and humanity so that everyone can feel satisfaction and happiness.

HE the Foreign Minister stressed that Qatar highly welcomed the World Economic Forum's launching of a special platform for discussion and innovation, adding that his country believed in international cooperation to eradicate the epidemic.

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked the World Economic Forum for establishing this important platform for teamwork and mobilising support to face the Covid-19 pandemic.




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