New York [US], October 16 (ANI): For the first time in two decades, extreme poverty is on the rise, UN chief Antonio Guterres said in his message released on Friday, marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, on October 17.
Describing current levels of poverty as "a moral indictment of our times", Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies and societies around the world, with some 120 million more people falling into poverty last year.
"A lopsided recovery is further deepening inequalities between the Global North and South", said Guterres. "Solidarity is missing in action - just when we need it most".
The fight against poverty must also be a battle against inequality.
The UN chief said that vaccine inequality has enabled COVID variants to mutate and "run wild", condemning the world to millions of more deaths, and prolonging an economic slowdown that could cost trillions of dollars.
"We must end this outrage, tackle debt distress and ensure recovery investment in countries with the greatest need", he spelt out.
Guterres outlined a three-pronged global recovery approach to 'Building Forward Better' that begins with stronger political will and partnerships to achieve universal social protection by 2030.
For a transformative recovery to end to the endemic structural disadvantages and inequalities that perpetuated poverty even before the pandemic, the world must invest in job re-skilling for the growing green economy, according to the UN chief.
"And we must invest in quality jobs in the care economy, which will promote greater equality and ensure everyone receives the dignified care they deserve", he said. (ANI)