Rede des UN-Generalsekretärs António Guterres, 20.7.2020 (engl. Originalfassung)
COVID-19 is shining a spotlight on this injustice.
The world is in turmoil. Economies are in freefall.
We have been brought to our knees – by a microscopic virus.
The pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of our world.
It has laid bare risks we have ignored for decades: inadequate health systems; gaps in social protection; structural inequalities; environmental degradation; the climate crisis.
Entire regions that were making progress on eradicating poverty and narrowing inequality have been set back years, in a matter of months.
The virus poses the greatest risk to the most vulnerable: those living in poverty, older people, and people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions.
Health workers are on the front lines, with more than 4,000 infected in South Africa alone. I pay tribute to them.
In some countries, health inequalities are amplified as not just private hospitals, but businesses and even individuals are hoarding precious equipment that is urgently needed for everyone. A tragic example of inequality.
The economic fallout of the pandemic is affecting those who work in the informal economy; small and medium-size businesses; and people with caring responsibilities, who are mainly women.
We face the deepest global recession since World War II, and the broadest collapse in incomes since 1870.
One hundred million more people could be pushed into extreme poverty. We could see famines of historic proportions.
COVID-19 has been likened to an x-ray, revealing fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built.
It is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere:
The lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all;
The fiction that unpaid care work is not work;
The delusion that we live in a post-racist world;
The myth that we are all in the same boat.
Because while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts while others are clinging to drifting debris.
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