The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told an international forum Friday that society cannot return the “previous normal” as he laid out socioeconomic responses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We must keep in sight the gravity of the situation,” Mohammed said Friday, addressing the severity of the coronavirus globally. “A return to normality in some regions must not lull us into a false sense of security.”
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Mohammed said that for many countries, the worst of the pandemic has yet come and the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 300 million jobs could be lost — a figure that is 15 times higher than the job losses in the 2008 financial crisis.
To date, the coronavirus has infected over 9 million people and killed more than 472,000 globally.
The World Bank has reportedly estimated that 70 to 100 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty, and the world could see the sharpest decline in per-capita income since the 1870s.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has further warned that 265 million people “could face acute food insecurity by year’s end — double the number at risk before the crisis,” Mohamed said.
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“The COVID-19 pandemic has made the promise of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] more relevant and vital than ever,” Mohammed said Friday. “The crisis is a stark reminder that any recovery that fails to address the causes of our present vulnerabilities condemns us to more acute crises in the future.”
The UN is reportedly preparing responses to five critical areas for each country, which includes protecting health care systems, ensuring access to social protections in order to help vulnerable communities, assisting in job creation and income support, helping countries to “navigate complex macroeconomic options” and finally by working with nations to develop local solutions to recover from the crisis.
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The UN Recover Better Together Action reportedly needs to assemble $1 billion in funds to address the country-specific action plans for the year.
“We are determined to do all this at once, simultaneously, not sequentially,” Mohammed said Friday. “These actions are mutually reinforcing.”