Deliberations during the four-day forum highlighted the “full scope” of the COVID’s impact, said United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.
“The worst health and economic downturn in our lives has exposed and exacerbated the vulnerabilities in our economies and societies, leading some to label COVID-19 the inequality virus,” she added.
Developing countries are faced with an “increasing debt burden”, a restricted budget and high borrowing costs, with a limited ability to respond to the pandemic, explained Ms. Mohammed.
“The divergent world we are heading towards is a disaster for all of us,” she said. “It is both morally and economically sound to help developing countries overcome this crisis.”
To avoid the risk of a “lost decade to development”, she acknowledged that exceptional public spending “continues to be critical to keeping vulnerable economies alive,” as is structural transformations to protect the world economy from future crises.
Rapid access to vaccines for all citizens of the world is a top priority. The average number of people vaccinated in Africa is still below one percent.
“This is a moral plague for the international community,” she said, calling on governments, development partners and private sector actors to “urgently fund fair vaccination for all”.
It is also crucial to ease debt and liquidity pressures by continuing the debt suspension initiative and extending it to vulnerable middle-income countries and small island developing States.
“Eligibility for debt relief must be based on real needs rather than GDP, especially as the world is headed for climate catastrophe,” she said, adding that governments should not be forced to service debts “at the expense of response on their own people “. .
In addition, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of front-loading investments in social protection measures to protect against future shocks.
“Governments must prioritize the well-being of their people, including through heavy investments in free education, universal health care and strong health systems,” said Ms. Mohammed, underscoring the importance of “decoupling livelihoods from the volatility of the global economy” and securing guaranteed income .
Achieve the goals
Governments must prioritize the well-being of their people – Deputy head of the UN
To achieve these goals, the world must redirect finances to where they are most needed, “with a strategic view” to prevent future shocks from mutating into COVID-19-level disasters, the deputy UN warned -Boss.
“Governments need to step up sustainable investment planning … and we need to address the incentives and bottlenecks to free up private capital to invest in sustainable development,” she added.
Back on track
The senior UN official acknowledged that today’s challenges go beyond COVID-19 and include the climate crisis, drought, hunger and heightened insecurity, “all of which are exacerbated by the long-term economic effects of the inequality virus.”
The recovery effort must address all of these challenges “directly”, Ms. Mohammed said, calling on all participants to “take immediate action to achieve a timely and appropriate global response that will put us back on the path to a prosperous, sustainable and equitable world and would bring the world implementation of the 2030 Agenda ”.
The sixth FfD forum was convened from April 12-15, 2021 in a hybrid (virtual and personal) format at the UN headquarters in New York.