UN chief raises alarm over worst recession in 80 years as Covid-19 pandemic impact grows

The social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been enormous and continues to grow, according to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is calling for global solidarity and cooperation.

“We face the biggest global recession in eight decades. Extreme poverty is rising, the threat of famine looms,” Guterres said in a video address to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

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The UN chief criticized countries for failing to mount a joint response to the crisis arising from the pandemic, with some nations even competing against each other for essential supplies. Guterres emphasized that no vaccine can undo the damage that has already been done.

“The social and economic impact of the pandemic is enormous, and growing,” he said, adding that it has affected practically every corner of the planet. “We cannot let the same thing happen for access to new Covid-19 vaccines, which must be a global public good.”

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According to Guterres, the inter-generational impact is the result of long-term fragilities, inequalities and injustices that have been exposed by the pandemic.

The top official urged the international community to focus on the inequalities at the basis of global power relations, and to take steps toward achieving a more inclusive and fairer world.

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