UN Chief Guterres told the annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank event that the pandemic has thrown more than 100 million people into poverty and that more than four billion people have little or no social support, healthcare, or income protection “when they so desperately need it”.
“The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are in grave danger of failing. In his keynote speech, the UN head stated, “Solidarity is missing in action, and a sense of injustice is spreading, creating a breeding ground for violence and conflict”.
Mr. Guterres praised the IMF’s Strategy for Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, calling it “a critical step to applying a crisis prevention lens” to the pandemic’s complex and varied dangers, particularly for countries recovering from disaster and conflict.
He went on to remark that only macroeconomic policies that promote inclusive growth and resilience, centred on a transition to stability and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, can address fragility and conflict.
Concerning vaccine disparity, the UN chief described it as a moral outrage that is condemning the world to millions of more deaths and prolonging an economic slowdown that might cost trillions of dollars, disproportionately affecting the world’s poorest countries.
He emphasised the importance of a “bold collective push” to end the pandemic and ensure a long-term, inclusive global recovery, including a worldwide vaccination plan that covers everyone, everywhere.
Meanwhile, he recalled that, as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, which aims to get vaccines into the hands of 40% of the world by year’s end and 70% by mid-2022, countries affected by crises would require “targeted” investments in local vaccine mechanisms and capacities for quick and fair delivery, as well as to strengthen health systems and help prevent future pandemics, countries affected by crises would require “targeted” investments in.
Beginning with ramping up investments in short-term crisis relief and long-term recovery, the senior UN official recognised three areas for a recovery that benefits everyone, including the most fragile States.
He suggested the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative should be prolonged into next year and expanded to include middle-income nations, as well as a comprehensive strategy for overhauling the international debt architecture.
Second, Mr Guterres urged for aiding crisis-hit governments by investing considerably in universal social protection by 2030, as well as re-skilling and up-skilling programmes.
By 2030, the United Nations Global Accelerator on Employment and Social Protection seeks to create 400 million new jobs in the green and caring economy, as well as provide social protection to the four billion people who are currently unprotected.
Finally, in order to achieve an immediate breakthrough, the international community must “lead from the front” by collaborating closely across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus to achieve common objectives.