UN says human development to decline for first time in 30 years due to pandemic
Almaty. May 22. KazTAG - The Coronavirus pandemic could set back human development for the first time in 30 years, the United Nations warned, reports the UN news.
“COVID-19 – with its triple hit to health, education, and income – may change this trend,” said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Achim Steiner.
The decline is affecting both poor and rich countries, but is expected to be way higher in developing countries, as the latter are struggling to tackle the Coronavirus’ social and economic aftermath, the UNDP said.
Previous crises, such as the economic crisis of of 2007-2009 or the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, despite being a major blow to the development, they did not reversed year-on-year development gains overall, Steiner added.
In the UNDP report published on May 20, the UN body estimated that due to the lockdown measures and the countries’ shortfalls in access to online learning, 86% of children in primary education are now effectively out-of-school in countries with low human development, whereas in wealthiest countries, this number falls to 20%.
The already increased death toll caused by the Coronavirus pandemic could further rise, as 6,000 more children could die each day from preventable causes in the next six months, the report also reads.
“This crisis shows that if we fail to bring equity into the policy toolkit, many will fall further behind,” said Pedro Conceição, Director of the Human Development Report Office at UNDP.
Yet, the UNDP highlighted that the Coronavirus crisis has revealed the strength of collective action in the face of a common threat, and urged people across the globe to demonstrate the same unity on climate change.
“If we needed proof of concept that humanity can respond collectively to a shared global challenge, we are now living through it,” the report reads.
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