The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has called for a $2.5 trillion assistance package for developing countries, whose populations face unprecedented economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis.
The consequences of a combined health pandemic and a global recession will be catastrophic for many developing countries and halt their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said at a briefing on Monday.
The UN Development Programme said the growing COVID-19 crisis threatens disproportionately to hit developing countries, not only in short term but over the months and years to come.
UNDP said the income losses are expected to exceed $220 billion in developing countries, and nearly half of all jobs in Africa could be lost.
With an estimated 55 per cent of the global population having no access to social protection, these losses will reverberate across societies, impacting education, human rights and, in the most severe cases, basic food security and nutrition.
UNDP, in coordination with the World Health Organization, is already working to support health systems in countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Nigeria, Paraguay, Panama, Serbia, Ukraine and Vietnam.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) warned that COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the world’s inequalities and threatening to deepen them.
Some groups, such as migrant workers and workers in the informal economy, are particularly affected by the economic consequences of the virus, and women are especially exposed.
Across the world, 2 billion workers are in informal employment.
ILO emphasised that policy responses must ensure that support reaches the workers and enterprises who need it most, including low-wage workers, the self-employed and many other vulnerable people.