UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
File Photo

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 17 (APP):UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for solidarity with all people living in poverty, during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

The UN chief’s appeal was contained in a video message marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, observed annually on Oct. 17.

He highlighted how the pandemic represents a double crisis for the world’s poorest people.

First, they have the highest risk of exposure to the virus, and least access to quality healthcare, Guterres said.

Second, recent estimates show the pandemic could push up to 115 million people into poverty this year – the first increase in decades.

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Women are at greatest risk because they are more likely to lose their jobs, and less likely to have social protection.

The UN chief underscored the need for extraordinary efforts to fight poverty at this time.

As the pandemic demands strong collective action, he called for Governments to accelerate economic transformation by investing in sustainable recovery.

Additionally, countries need a new generation of social protection programmes, that also cover people who work in the informal economy.

Joining together in common cause is the only way we will emerge safely from this pandemic, said the Secretary-General.

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let’s stand in solidarity with people living in poverty, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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The International Day was established by a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in December 1992.

The theme this year is Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice.

The UN says this focus recognizes the multi-dimensionality of poverty, meaning that social justice cannot be fully realized without also working to address environmental injustices, including those due to climate change.