Covid-19 pushes 119mn to 124mn people into extreme poverty: UN

NEW DELHI: The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has pushed between 119 million to 124 million people into extreme poverty worldwide, the United Nations (UN) said on Saturday.

There is a need for all countries to enact policies that are coherent and inclusive and also underlined that access to vaccines is of utmost importance to “build back better”. Fair, equitable access to covid-19 vaccines, without discrimination, is of utmost urgency, the global body said.

“As covid-19 crisis has pushed between 119 million and 124 million people into extreme poverty, governments around the world must enact policies that are coherent, inclusive and informed by high-quality data as they emerge from the pandemic and refocus their sights on achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the UN said in a statement citing the Economic and Social Council integration meeting.

The meeting followed three informal “integration dialogues” held throughout June, during which the council’s functional commissions and expert bodies identified policy options and showcased examples of integrated policy in action.


Liu Zhenmin, under-secretary-general for Economic and Social Affairs said recovery from the pandemic is in jeopardy with lagging vaccine rates in poor countries and a majority of those pushed into extreme poverty are women and girls.

“We need urgent actions to stop the pandemic, minimize the social impact and get back on track to implement the 2030 Agenda,” he stressed adding that “recovering better” requires global solidarity and a multilateral approach that prioritizes enhanced cooperation.

The UN also underlined the need to devise gender-responsive policies. Speakers at the economic and social council meeting said priority must be to ensure that “no one is left behind”.

The covid-19 pandemic has killed millions, infected many more, vexed the global economy, forced people to migrate, and pushed millions of people out of jobs and income, thus catalyzing poverty.

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