Premier Mohammad Shtayyeh Wednesday evening highlighted the government efforts to soften the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic in a virtual ILO summit.
Speaking to the International Labor Organization’s virtual global summit on the pandemic, Shtayyeh stated that the government’s efforts to fight the pandemic outbreak were geared towards balancing protection against the pandemic and securing the laborers’ livelihoods while operating under harsh economic conditions.
The harsh economic conditions, he added, were the result of Israeli settler-colonialism which depletes Palestinian natural and human potential, the US financial siege on the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and the Palestinian Authority (PA), besides to the decline in donor financial aid.
The Premier stressed that laborers remain the most vulnerable to the pandemic in the occupied Palestinian territories and the world, but their vulnerability in the occupied territories was exacerbated by the Israeli occupation’s actions.
He stressed the need that the United Nations creates and sponsors a crisis early warning system to reduce disaster ricks and highlighted the importance of developing comprehensive social justice systems, which include social insurance programs as an essential component.
Commenting on the government’s measures to battle the pandemic outbreak, he noted that the government managed to quickly and effectively contain the outbreak in the first stage of the pandemic, reducing the pandemic impacts in the labor market and laborers and facilitating return to normal life.
He pointed out that the government has developed an emergency response plan focused on providing urgent financial aid to disadvantaged families and thousands of jobless laborers besides to an economic recovery plan focused on providing lending portfolios to sustain businesses.
Shtayyeh made his remarks before the ILO’s virtual summit on COVID-10, held under the theme “COVID-19 and the World of Work- Building a Better Future of Work”.
The summit brought together over 60 heads of state and some 20 chiefs of international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization.