ICC & WHO Issue Unprecedented Call to Action for Businesses to Tackle COVID-19

On March 16, 2020, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a joint statement regarding COVID-19. The following is an excerpt:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health and societal emergency that requires effective immediate action by governments, individuals and businesses. All businesses have a key role to play in minimising the likelihood of transmission and impact on society. Early, bold and effective action will reduce short-term risks to employees and long-term costs to businesses and the economy... As an immediate priority, businesses should be developing or updating, readying or implementing business continuity plans. Business continuity plans should aim to reduce transmission, including by: promoting understanding of the disease, its symptoms and appropriate behavior among employees; setting up a reporting system for any cases and contacts; preparing essentials; limiting travel and physical connectivity; and planning for measures such as teleworking when necessary.

Calls to Action

  • ICC strongly endorses WHO’s call on national governments everywhere to adopt a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reducing the further spread of COVID-19 and mitigating its impact should be a top priority for Heads of State and Government. Political action should be coordinated with actors in the private sector and civil society to maximize reach of messaging and effectiveness.
  • Governments should commit to making available all necessary resources to combat COVID-19 with the minimum of delay and to ensure that cross-border medical and other essential goods supply chains are able to function effectively and efficiently.
  • ICC and the WHO encourage national chambers of commerce to work closely with UN country teams, including WHO country offices where they exist, and to designate mutual focal points to coordinate this collaboration.
  • ICC encourages its members to support their country’s national response efforts and to contribute to the global response efforts coordinated by the WHO through www.covid19responsefund.org.”

Read the full statement at https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/16-03-2020-icc-who-joint-statement-an-unprecedented-private-sector-call-to-action-to-tackle-covid-19.