Home GHANA NEWS  COVID-19: UNDP warns of economic crisis in developing countries

COVID-19: UNDP warns of economic crisis in developing countries

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UNDP
UNDP

The UNDP has painted a very gloomy picture for developing countries’ economies in the midst of the global Codvid-19 pandemic.

A press release by the United Nations Body fighting to end injustice
of poverty and inequality across the world says nearly half of all jobs in
Africa could be lost.

The UNDP also estimates that 55 per cent of the global population having no access to social
protection, these losses will reverberate across societies, impacting education,
human rights and, in the most severe cases, basic food security and nutrition
,
making the suture look gloomy for Africa.

The UNDP is thus calling on the international community to
think beyond the immediate impact of COVID-19.

The organization has
emphasized the need for three priority actions: resources to help stop the
spread of the virus, support to respond during the outbreak itself, and
resources to prevent the economic collapse of developing countries.

As an immediate
response, UNDP is building on the support it has been providing to China and
other Asian countries to help strengthen their health systems.

This includes helping them procure much-needed medical supplies, leverage digital technologies and ensuring health workers are paid, the release said in its release.

Below is the full
statement:

COVID-19: Looming crisis in developing
countries threatens to devastate economies and ramp up inequality

UNDP seeking unprecedented COVID-19 support for vulnerable countries

The growing COVID-19 crisis threatens to disproportionately
hit developing countries, not only as a health crisis in the short term but as
a devastating social and economic crisis over the months and years to
come. 

Income losses are expected to exceed $220 billion in
developing countries, and nearly half of all jobs in Africa could be lost.

With an estimated 55 per cent of the global population
having no access to social protection, these losses will reverberate across
societies, impacting education, human rights and, in the most severe cases,
basic food security and nutrition.

Under-resourced hospitals and fragile health systems are
likely to be overwhelmed. This may be further exacerbated by a spike in cases,
as up to 75 per cent of people in least developed countries lack access to soap
and water.

Additional social conditions, such as poor urban planning
and overpopulation in some cities, weak waste disposal services, and even
traffic congestion impeding access to healthcare facilities, may all add to the
caseload.

“This pandemic is a health crisis. But not just a health
crisis. For vast swathes of the globe, the pandemic will leave deep, deep
scars,” noted Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP).

“Without support from the international community, we risk a
massive reversal of gains made over the last two decades, and an entire
generation lost, if not in lives then in rights, opportunities, and dignity.”

Working in close coordination with the World Health
Organization (WHO), UNDP is helping countries to prepare for, respond to and
recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing particularly on the most
vulnerable.

UNDP is already working to support health systems in
countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Djibouti, El Salvador,
Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Nigeria, Paraguay, Panama, Serbia,
Ukraine, and Vietnam.

A UNDP-led COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility has already been
launched, funded by existing resources and capitalized with an initial US$20
million.

This facility is disbursing through a fast-track mechanism
enabling UNDP teams to offer immediate assistance to countries for their
national response.

UNDP anticipates a minimum of $500 million need to support
100 countries.

Call to action

UNDP has made a call to action to the international
community to think beyond the immediate impact of COVID-19.

The organization has emphasized the need for three priority
actions: resources to help stop the spread of the virus, support to respond
during the outbreak itself, and resources to prevent the economic collapse of
developing countries.

As an immediate response, UNDP is building on the support it
has been providing to China and other Asian countries to help strengthen their
health systems.

This includes helping them procure much-needed medical
supplies, leverage digital technologies and ensuring health workers are paid.

At the same time, UNDP will support countries to slow the
spread of the virus and to provide social protection for vulnerable
populations, promoting a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to
complement efforts in the health sector.

In the longer term, UNDP will work with countries to assess
the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and take urgent recovery measures
to minimize long-term impact, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized
groups, and to help societies to recover better.

Tackling COVID-19 and its impacts will require partners who
can work across systems and sectors and in contexts that are both complex and
uncertain. With years of experience on the frontlines, this is what UNDP is
designed to do.

UNDP is fully operational in 170 countries and territories
and focused on its COVID-19 response, mobilizing all its assets to respond to
this unprecedented challenge.

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