The pandemic of COVID-19 could push 100 million more people into extreme poverty, highlighting “the fragility of our world,” is unequal, said Saturday the secretary general of the united Nations, Antonio Guterres.
“We have been brought to its knees by a virus microscopic. The pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of our world,” said Antonio Guterres in a speech on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, the first president of south african black (1994-1999).
“Entire regions that had made progress in the eradication of poverty and reduction of inequalities have, in the space of a few months, declined for several years,” he noted during a virtual conference organized by the Mandela Foundation, based in Johannesburg.
With the pandemic, which has claimed more than 590 000 people dead, the world is faced with the worst recession since the Second world War” with “100 million more people could fall into extreme poverty”, according to Antonio Guterres.
The COVID-19 “has unveiled some of the risks we have ignored for decades: “health systems, inequality (…), the climate crisis”, he still continued in a advocacy against the inequalities.
The pandemic, “operates as a radio, revealing the fractures of the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built. It highlights the misconceptions and lies everywhere: the lie that the free market can provide health care to all, the fiction that the unpaid work of care the person is not at work, the illusion that we live in a world that is post-racist, the myth that we are all in the same boat”, he added.
“It floats all on the same sea, but some are on superyachts, while others are clinging to floating debris”, ” he protested, recalling that 26 of the people the wealthiest on the planet have, in and of themselves, as much wealth as half of the population.
“The COVID-19 highlights” these “injustices”, by striking in the first place, “the most vulnerable”, stressed Antonio Guterres.
The resources “are not the only ways of measuring inequalities. The lucky people in life depends on their sex, their family backgrounds and ethnic origin.”
The anti-racism movement born of the death of George Floyd, a black American killed by a white policeman in may in the United States, “is a further sign that the people have had enough: enough of the inequality and discrimination that treats people as criminals on the basis of the color of their skin,” stressed the secretary general of the united nations, calling on leaders to build “a world that is more egalitarian and more sustainable”.
“We are at a turning point”, he concluded.