UNITED NATIONS, October 17 — Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, called for solidarity with all people living in poverty, during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
The appeal by the UN chief is contained in a video message in celebration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which is observed annually on 17 October.
He stressed how the pandemic is a double crisis for the poorest people in the world.
First, they have the greatest risk of exposure to the virus and the least access to quality healthcare, Guterres said.
Second, recent estimates show that the pandemic could push up to 115 million people into poverty this year – the first increase in decades.
Women are at greatest risk because they are more likely to lose their jobs and have less social protection. ??
The UN chief is currently underlining the need for extraordinary efforts to fight poverty.
As the pandemic requires strong collective action, he called on governments to accelerate economic transformation by investing in sustainable recovery.
In addition, countries need a new generation of social protection programs, which also cover people working in the informal economy.
The common cause is the only way we will be safe from this pandemic, the secretary general said.
On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let us stand in solidarity with people living in poverty, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The International Day was established by a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in December 1992.
The theme of this year is to act together to bring about social and environmental justice.
The UN says that this focus recognizes the multidimensionality of poverty, which means that social justice cannot be fully realized without also trying to address injustices in the environment, including those due to climate change.