The UN Deputy Secretary-General has reminded Finance Ministers from across the world of their duty to help countries emerge from the social and economic chaos brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amina Mohammed addressed ministers from UN Member States, and representatives from international institutions, during a virtual meeting to solidify a “menu” of policy options for post-pandemic recovery and beyond, which will be presented to world leaders later this month.
Although the crisis has affected everyone, Ms. Mohammed said the consequences will be worse for the world’s most vulnerable citizens.
“Between 70 to 100 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty; an additional 265 million people could face acute food shortages by the end of this year, and an estimated 400 million jobs have been lost: disproportionately, of course, affecting women”, she said.
Moreover, “some 1.6 billion learners have had their studies disrupted and may never return to school,” she continued, adding “finding immediate and lasting solutions is our responsibility”.
The meeting on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond was the initiative of the UN Secretary-General and the Prime Ministers of Jamaica and Canada, launched in May.
The aim is to present what the organizers described as “a single ambitious menu of policy options” to address recovery in the short term, but also to mobilize the resources needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and to create a resilient global financial system over the long term.
Over the past three months, ministers formed six discussion groups to address issues critical for economic survival and recovery, with the imperative of building back better.
The UN further estimates that the world’s gross domestic product will suffer a nearly five percent drop this year, while foreign direct investment and remittances are set to decrease by 40 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
“With lockdown measures continuing, borders closed, debt skyrocketing and fiscal resources plunging, the pandemic is pushing us towards the worst recession in decades, possibly even a depression, with terrible consequences for the most vulnerable”, said Ms. Mohammed.
The discussions sought to further refine policy that will be presented to Heads of State and Government at a UN meeting on 29 September.
Original source: UN News