Saturday, January 23

Pandemic Is Like an ‘X-Ray’ Revealing Inequality, U.N. Secretary General Says


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Pandemic Is Like an ‘X-Ray’ Revealing Inequality, U.N. Secretary General Says

António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, said economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could lead to historic poverty and famine.

We face the deepest global recession since World War II and the broadest collapse in incomes since 1870. One hundred million more people could be pushed into extreme poverty and we could see famines of historic proportions. Covid-19 has been likened to an X-ray revealing fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built. It is exposing fallacies, and falsehoods, everywhere. The lie that free markets can deliver health care for all. The fiction that unpaid care work is not work. The delusion that we live in a post-racist world. The myth that we are all in the same boat. Because while we are all floating on the same sea, it is clear that some are in super yachts, while others are clinging to drifting debris. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought home the tragic disconnect between self-interest and the common interests, and the huge gaps in governance structures and ethical frameworks. To close those gaps and to make the new social contract possible, we need a new global deal to ensure that power, wealth and opportunities are shared more broadly and fairly at the international level.

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