16 March 2020
ICC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have announced an unprecedented call to action to mobilise business in the fight against COVID-19.
In a joint statement issued today, ICC and WHO announced the agreement to leverage ICC’s global network of over 45 million businesses to enable businesses worldwide to play a full and active role in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
The collaboration between ICC and the WHO will facilitate information flows by disseminating the latest and most reliable information on the COVID-19 outbreak to businesses
“Early, bold and effective action will reduce short-term risks to employees and long-term costs to businesses and the economy,” the statement says. “As an immediate priority, businesses should be developing or updating, readying or implementing business continuity plans.”
While recognising the essential role the private sector can play in minimising the likelihood of transmission, the joint ICC-WHO statement calls on national governments to adopt a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and underscores the urgency for Heads of State and Government to make preventing the spread of the virus a top priority. The statement follows an ICC call Thursday for G20 countries to urgently agree on a comprehensive global action plan to address the pandemic and restore confidence and stability to the global economy.
ICC and the WHO also call on governments to make available all necessary resources to combat COVID-19 with the minimum of delay and to ensure that cross-border medical supply chains are able to function effectively and efficiently.
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “ICC has an employment footprint of over 1 billion workers in developed and developing countries alike. We have a responsibility to enable an effective business response that protects people from the health risks of COVID-19 and the negative impact on the businesses on which their livelihoods depend.”