Covid 19 vaccine development not to halt economic damage: UNCTAD

States asked to declare Black Fungus as epidemic

The world believes that Covid 19 pandemic will come to an end soon with much progress shown in vaccine development. Despite global markets showing much confidence to an end to the pandemic, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned that the development of the vaccine is not going to halt the spread of the economic damage.

The poor and the vulnerable countries will feel the heat of the economic crisis into the future, according to UNCTAD’s report “Impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on Trade and Development; Transitioning to a New Normal.

The UNCTAD pointed out that the world has never had a situation where half of the world population was in lockdown. UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said that the pandemic has gravely wounded the world economy with serious consequences for everyone.

The report points out that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 will be derailed if immediate policy actions are taken, especially for the poorest.  It said that recovery must focus on renewed trade policy that helps in tackling the twin challenges of market concentration and environmental impact. The UNCTAD also said that there was a need for reshaping global production networks to be more inclusive, green and sustainable.

The UNCTAD report states that the pandemic’s impact on world economy was asymmetric and tilted towards the most vulnerable, especially low income households, women, migrants and informal workers. It mentioned that global poverty was on the rise for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of 1998. The global poverty rate was 35.9 per cent in 1990 and it slashed to 8.6 per cent in 2018. But in the pandemic situation, he poverty rate has risen to 8.8 per cent, the UNCTAD said.

The UNCTAD also reports Tourism sector and micro, small and medium sized enterprises were the most hit. These sectors employ mainly the vulnerable groups. Another thing that the report notes is that older people and women were hit more in the pandemic.

Stating that the poor nations will find it hard to overcome the future crisis, the report calls for nations to help these poor and vulnerable countries.

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