United Nations, Oct 18 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the international community to stand in solidarity with people living in poverty.
“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,” Xinhua news agency quoted the UN chief as saying in his message on Saturday to commemorate the day which falls on October 17 annually.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is a double crisis for the world’s poorest people,” he said.
“First, they have the highest risk of exposure to the virus, and least access to quality healthcare. 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 programs that also cover people working in the informal economy,” he added.
In 1992, the UN officially designated October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
This year’s theme is “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”.