The United Nations launched on Tuesday a new plan to counter the potentially devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, calling on everyone to “act together to lessen the blow to people.”
UN secretary-general António Guterres said the global body is establishing a new multi-partner “Trust Fund for COVID19 Response and Recovery” to respond to the emergency and recover from the socio-economic shock created by the pandemic.
The new report, titled “Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19”, describes the speed and scale of the outbreak, the severity of cases, and the societal and economic disruption of the coronavirus.
Launching the plan, the UN chief said the COVID-19 pandemic is the “greatest test” the world has faced since the end of World War II.
The deadly virus attacked almost all countries in the world, killing more than 42,000 people and infecting 860,000 others.
All major stock markets are under pressure amid growing concerns over the economic and financial impact of the outbreak.
Oil and gold prices crashed. Aviation industry was hit hard as several countries imposed travel restrictions on their borders.
Several affected countries or cities are in lockdown to prevent the spread of the killer disease.
In tackling the devastating social and economic impacts of the crisis, the UN chief called on governments to focus on the most vulnerable. “They should design policies that support providing health and unemployment insurance and social protections while also bolstering businesses to prevent bankruptcies and job losses”.
The report includes estimates from various UN agencies.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), up to 25 million jobs will be lost due to coronavirus, and the world will lose $860 billion to $3.4 trillion in labor income.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected a 30 to 40 per cent downward pressure on global foreign direct investment flows while the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) saw a 20-30 per cent decline in international arrivals.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) anticipated that 3.6 billion people will be offline, and UNESCO) forecast that 1.5 billion students are out of school.
The report calls for a large-scale, coordinated, comprehensive multilateral response that amounts to at least 10 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
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