Doha / Information Office / April 30
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed that the priority of the State of Qatar from the first day in confronting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was to work to ensure the health and safety of all citizens and residents and to coordinate the facilitation of response, adding that the State of Qatar provides health care capabilities and services for all while maintaining its economic status.
This came during the hosting of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday in the "COVID Action Platform" at the World Economic Forum under the title" how to defeat the epidemic and protect livelihoods worldwide", which was opened by President of World Economic Forum Borge Brende, with the participation of several government officials, chief executives, and heads of humanitarian organizations.
HE the Foreign Minister called on the international community to cooperate and stand together in facing the economic consequences of the pandemic, whether it is a decrease in oil prices or a possible economic recession. He said that the objective conditions indicate that the next stage will not be easy in economic and financial terms for the countries that deal with the global economy.
In this regard, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs referred to the invitation of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani sent, in a speech this week to the heads of countries of the world, especially the major industrialized countries and relevant international organizations, to cooperate and not compete in discovering and producing vaccines and disease treatments, and it would not be possible to face the economic and social consequences of the pandemic without cooperation and coordination worldwide and at the highest and broadest levels.
He noted Qatar's pioneering experience in facing COVID-19 and the measures taken to protect society, support businesses, and boost the economy through the stimulus packages that the Qatari government provides to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) community.
HE the Foreign Minister said that Qatar's proactive approach saw unparalleled measures are taken to protect the society, support businesses, and boost the economy, stressing that through stimulus packages the government of the State of Qatar provides an unprecedented financial response to the SMEs community in Qatar.
Responding to a question about how the Qatari procedures are integrated into the long term in the broad fields of international cooperation, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani noted Qatar's programs abroad and its cooperation with resources, development, and innovation in the United Nations Development Program.
HE the Foreign Minister said that the Qatari production has increased as new factories for the manufacture of personal protective equipment have been set up and today Qatar produces eight million masks every week. He added that the state opened a ventilators factory, which in the first stage will produce 2,000 devices per week, to contribute to providing the adequate need of the respiratory devices for the treatment of people with the novel coronavirus in Qatar and abroad.
His Excellency stressed that the State of Qatar's vision for the future is formed by its belief in strong teamwork and coordination to move forward, adding that Qatar is aware of the diversity of the capabilities of the markets in the face of the pandemic, yet it considers that such condition as an opportunity and not a setback for active and smart investment approaches.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stated that the government of the State of Qatar supports international efforts as it sent aid to 20 countries so far, including assistance in the field of medical supplies, adding that the Qatari air forces are building field hospitals in friendly countries, including contributing to the work of multilateral health care institutions that are working to develop vaccines or that work to ensure the resilience of health care in other countries, and Qatar has already made a contribution of USD 140 million to these organizations.
HE the Foreign Minister said that Qatar is also working with the United Nations Development Program in the Innovation Lab that includes 47 countries to create solutions to address the negative consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, and it includes business, technology, and medical solutions for developing and emerging countries, adding that Qatar will continue to support global institutions and has kept its commitments to develop health, prosperity, and stability of its region.
On the specific economic and health measures taken by the State of Qatar in the long run, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs affirmed that Qatar has taken unprecedented financial incentive measures to protect the economy, especially the private sector, adding that the government was proactive in designing policies to protect employees, especially the migrant worker community.
In response to several questions, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the State of Qatar's strategy to confront the COVID-19 is based on three main pillars, the first is how to protect citizens and residents in Qatar and ensure the resilience of the health care system, the second is to ensure that the impact on the economy and society is at the lowest level, and the third is that Qatar is committed to its international responsibilities by standing with other countries that need help.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that this epidemic has caused many great and unknown challenges, and no one can determine what happens next, but the state is trying to initiate at any stage the necessary measures so that the stopping does not continue for a longer period.
HE the Foreign Minister added that from a geopolitical point of view, there are some complications will occur if the economic situation is affected, which means some social unrest in some countries, especially those that lack the necessary capabilities, therefore, there might be some changes, especially in the Middle East, which includes some countries that are either currently suffering from crises or lack the financial resources to face this crisis. He expressed hope that these countries will have the necessary support to overcome this social unrest that they may face, especially in the event of economic consequences.
In response to a question about hosting the 2022 World Cup, HE the Foreign Minister said, "We are confident that we will organize the best FIFA World Cup edition, I can confirm this for you and all viewers, and we also believe that the importance of the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup has increased because it will be the first festive and entertaining occasion in which the world meets after the pandemic separation and the current bad humanitarian conditions." He expressed hope the pandemic will disappear, and the World Cup will be held for the peoples of the world and humanity so that everyone can feel satisfaction and happiness.
HE the Foreign Minister stressed that the State of Qatar highly welcomes the World Economic Forum's launching of a special platform for discussion and innovation, adding that the State of Qatar believes in international cooperation to eradicate the epidemic.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked the World Economic Forum for establishing this important platform for teamwork and mobilizing support to face the COVID-19 pandemic.