COVID-19: Faith based organizations call for immediate ceasefire
Lutheran World Federation and Islamic Relief Worldwide appeal for peace to protect people from Coronavirus
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) are appealing for an immediate ceasefire in ongoing conflicts in order to guarantee humanitarian access and protect people from the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The appeal follows on from a call for a global ceasefire made by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on 31 March and responds to the UN security council’s failure to agree on a global ceasefire to enable COVID-19 action.
In a joint statement, issued on 11 May, the LWF and IRW say: “As faith-based organizations engaged in life-saving humanitarian assistance, development work, and community empowering advocacy, we do not believe that war and violence can ever be the solution to the challenges we face. We seek justice, peace and reconciliation for all, and especially during this time when the world is experiencing an unprecedented pandemic.”
People need health services, protection, food, but not arms. We urge all people of goodwill to join us in the effort to save lives.
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge commented: “Peace cannot wait. The world must come together in responding to COVID-19, prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable. People need health services, protection, food, but not arms. We urge all people of goodwill to join us in the effort to save lives.”
The appeal concludes with three calls to action, urging all parties in conflict to end hostilities in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Myanmar, Cameroon, Colombia and other countries.
The LWF and IRW call on the international community to redouble their efforts to achieve a global ceasefire and appeal to people of all faiths to advocate for peace and justice in order to support the most vulnerable communities threatened by infection and loss of livelihoods at this time.