Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2020, observed on 17 October:
The COVID-19 pandemic is 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 health care.
Second, recent estimates show the pandemic could push up to 115 million people into poverty this year – the first increase in decades. Women are at greatest risk because they are more likely to lose their jobs and less likely to have social protection.
In these extraordinary times, we need extraordinary efforts to fight poverty. The pandemic demands strong collective action. Governments must accelerate economic transformation by investing in a green, sustainable recovery.
We need a new generation of social protection programmes that also cover people working in the informal economy. Joining together in common cause is the only way we will emerge safely from this pandemic.
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.