UN urges action to address economic devastation caused by COVID-19


New York, Sept. 29, 2020 (dpa/Naija247news) UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the international community to address the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, or risk reversing years of development.

Guterres said this at the event on financing for development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond, hosted remotely by the UN, Canada and Jamaica.

“Unless we take action now, we face a global recession that could wipe out decades of development,’’ Guterres said.

He said the “response has not kept pace” with the pandemic since the first meeting on the topic in May, with more than 50 heads of state and government.

One million people have died, the world is suffering the greatest economic contraction since World War II, and “the risk of famine looms” in several countries, he said.

Guterres said nations had reacted with a fiscal response of more than 11.5 trillion dollars globally.

“But just 2.5 per cent of this global fiscal stimulus is accounted for by developing and emerging economies, which have the greatest need, least resources and weakest capacities for addressing the crisis,” he said.

At the meeting, world leaders considered a menu of policy options developed during the last four months to address the crisis and recovery.

Guterres called for countries to fund the World Health Organisation’s initiative to speed up the development of Covid-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

He also urged leaders to extend debt relief to all developing and middle-income countries in need, and to pay special attention to Africa’s development financing needs.

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