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C40 mayors launch COVID-19 economic recovery task force

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) C40 Cities, comprising India’s national capital, have announced the launch of a mayoral-led task force to accelerate sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

C40 mayors are already sharing knowledge and expertise to overcome the immediate health crisis.

The Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force will see leading mayors worldwide collaborate to achieve an economic recovery from COVID-19 that enables people to get back to work, while preventing climate breakdown from becoming an even bigger crisis that halts the global economy and threatens the lives and livelihood of people everywhere.

The mayors will discuss how to use huge public investment in the recovery to create a “new normal” for city economies, based on eliminating pollution and poverty, improving public health and increasing resilience to shocks.

The Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force was unveiled on Wednesday during a virtual meeting of more than 40 mayors and city leaders from major cities across 25 countries, hosted by C40 Chair and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, to share expertise on protecting their residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

C40 mayors and senior city officials have been regularly collaborating to share knowledge and solutions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mayoral task force will be chaired by Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan.

Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region of Italy that has seen some of the worst impacts of COVID-19.

The task force will be made up of representatives of mayors from every region within the C40 network, many of whom have unparalleled specialist expertise, including Mayor of Freetown Yvonne Aki Sawyerr, who was Director of Planning at the National Ebola Response Centre of Sierra Leone during the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic.

“Our immediate priority is to protect the health of our residents and overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. As we navigate the devastating daily effects of this unprecedented crisis, however, we must also look towards how we will keep our people safe in the future,” said Mayor of Milan and C40 Vice-Chair, Giuseppe Sala.

“How we structure our recovery efforts will define our cities for decades to come. It is our responsibility as mayors to ensure that we build a solid foundation so that our cities emerge as healthier, equitable and more sustainable places to live.”

“In stark contrast to inadequate cooperation between national governments, mayors from cities worldwide are uniting to respond to the immediate COVID-19 health emergency, as they have done to address the ongoing climate crisis,” said Mark Watts, C40 Executive Director.

“The task force will enable mayors to drive forward an economic recovery from COVID-19 that reduces the risk of future global crises by building healthy, equitable and zero-carbon communities.”

The Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is the latest in a series of measures C40 has taken to foster international collaboration and knowledge sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to facilitating the exchange of best practices between mayors of the world’s largest and most influential cities, C40 hosts critical resources on COVID-19 responses from cities worldwide on the C40 Knowledge Hub.

C40 has also partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies to assist in an informed global response by mayors to the challenges of the current health crisis.

C40’s Board President Michael R. Bloomberg is making resources available to C40 cities via the Partnership for Healthy Cities, and including C40 mayors in the Bloomberg Harvard Local Coronavirus Response Initiative.

“The coronavirus pandemic has created enormous public health and economic challenges for the world. In the weeks and months ahead, mayors will need to address many vital issues at once, including public health and safety, economic relief and recovery, and rising social service needs — all against the backdrop of climate change,” said Bloomberg, C40 Board President and Mayor of New York City, 2002-2013.

–IANS

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