COVID-19 brutally exposes the To Do Today Wake Up, Turn 10, Be Awesome – 10Th Birthday Shirt fragility of our economic systems and the fragility of the progress made. To quote the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “We’ve been back 25 years for about 25 weeks.”
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About 100 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty, the first increase since 1998. Some 270 million people face severe famine, while 500 million jobs could be lost in the To Do Today Wake Up, Turn 10, Be Awesome – 10Th Birthday Shirt second half of 2020.
This will be particularly difficult for young people, who make up 20% of the global population living in extreme poverty. Nearly 1.6 billion children worldwide were not allowed to go to school at the To-Do Today Wake Up, Turn 10, Be Awesome – 10Th Birthday Shirt height of the epidemic. As a group, they can lose up to $10 trillion in lifetime income. And many, especially girls, will never go back to school again, losing their chances for life.
As in any crisis, the poorest countries in the world and the most vulnerable – the poor, the disabled, women, indigenous groups and those marginalized – are bearing the brunt. Meanwhile, as the world’s poorest people struggle with job loss and rising food prices, the world’s richest people have increased their wealth by an estimated 25%, increasing their wealth to a record high of $10.2 trillion. It is clear that our economic and financial frameworks are not functioning as normal. They are contributing to the level of unsustainable inequality that threatens stability and prosperity.
Ladies and gentlemen, the epidemic is a wake-up alarm. We must all be held accountable for the transforming change. Now is the time to strengthen public institutions and improve public sector readiness to manage crises while maintaining existing investments in key distribution systems.
Governments must take direct action to reach the extreme poor, including investing in social protection, implementing universal health coverage, accessing basic education, water and sanitation and exploring innovative financial models such as universal basic income. Governments should seize this opportunity through stimulus packages to align recovery policies with green, inclusive and gender-responsive goals, guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This provides the necessary framework for a government-toan, social and worldwide approach to doing this.