UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for global solidarity for people living in poverty during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a message to mark the 2020 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Guterres described the pandemic as “a double crisis” for the world’s poorest people.
According to him, the poor have the highest risk of exposure to the virus, besides having the least access to quality healthcare.
“Second, recent estimates show the pandemic could push up to 115 million people into poverty this year, the first increase in decades.
“Women are at greatest risk because they are more likely to lose their jobs, and less likely to have social protection.
“In these extraordinary times, we need extraordinary efforts to fight poverty. The pandemic demands strong collective action,” he said.
The UN Chief said governments must intensify economic transformation through investment in a green and sustainable recovery from the health crisis.
The world, he stated, needs a new “generation of social protection programmes that also cover people working in the informal economy.”
Guterres reiterated that global solidarity is the only safe way out of the pandemic that claimed more than one million lives and inflicted severe social-economic hardship globally.