Weekly Digest

26.04.2021

The UN proposes a 6-point action plan to address the existing problems of humanity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

 

3 million deaths;

255 million jobs lost;

120 million people living below the poverty line;

worst recession in 90 years;

170 million children deprived of the opportunity to learn, growing inequality between and within countries

 

On April 12, 2021, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke about these and many other problems at the forum on Financing for development in the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The UN Secretary-General has proposed a 6-point action plan to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic:


1.      universal vaccination;

2.      concessional financing for countries in need of support;

3.      fair distribution of funds;

4.      overcoming the debt crisis;

5.      investment in human capital;

6.      sustainable and inclusive development in post-pandemic recovery.

 

Universal vaccination

 

 

 

According to the UN, 75% of all vaccinations are made in ten countries around the world, while the coronavirus is rapidly spreading and mutating. According to some estimates, the disparity in access to vaccines and the unnecessary accumulation of these drugs will cost humanity $ 9 trillion.


Concessional financing for countries in need of support

 

The international community shall show solidarity in the allocation of resources. So, in some countries, huge amounts of support measures are allocated, and other states at the same time plunge into a debt hole. If the situation is not resolved in the near future, the Sustainable Development Goals may become "completely unattainable"for a number of countries.


Fair distribution of funds

 

According to the latest data, the wealth of the richest people on the planet has increased by another 5 trillion US dollars. In this context, the UN Secretary-General called on governments to introduce a so-called "solidarity tax" for those who have enriched themselves on the pandemic.


Overcoming the debt crisis

 

In addition, the UN Secretary-General, among other measures, proposes to give the most financially vulnerable countries Special Drawing rights – a reserve means of payment created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as to grant them a deferral on debt obligations and other benefits that will help avoid default. 


Investment in human capital

 

Countries are being asked to enter into a new social contract with the population, which will be based on solidarity and provide for more funds for education, job creation, social protection and health.


Sustainable and inclusive development in post-pandemic recovery

 

According to the UN Secretary-General, after the coronacrisis, countries are required to restore their economies taking into account the principles laid down in the Sustainable Development Goals and in the Paris Climate Agreement.

 

Expert opinion

 

Indeed, the problems raised by the UN caused by the COVID-19 pandemic carry a high risk of destabilizing the world's economies. The experience of overcoming the financial crisis of 2008, which also took unprecedented measures to save the economies of its time, may be relevant for many countries. For example, the Oxford School of Entrepreneurship and the Environment in 2020 published a paper entitled " Will financial action packages to combat COVID-19 accelerate or slow down progress on climate change?", [1]which analyzed more than 700 economic support packages adopted by different countries in the period after the 2008 financial crisis, and also conducted a survey of 231 representatives of national central banks, ministries of finance and experts of the G20 countries on the effectiveness of the most common financial recovery measures in four parameters: the speed of implementation, the economic multiplier, the potential impact on climate change, and the overall feasibility.


As a result of the analysis, it turned out that the support of "green" projects create more jobs, bring more profit by reducing production costs in the short and long term.

So, 5 promising (from the point of view of economy and ecology) directions for the development of the country's economy were identified:


1.  creating a "clean" infrastructure;

2.  improving the energy efficiency of buildings;

3.  investment in education and training;

4.  investments in natural capital;

5.  research works in the field of "clean" technologies.

 

Sources:

https://news.un.org/ru/story/2021/04/1400702

https://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/publications/wpapers/workingpaper20-02.pdf

 



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Saved: 16.04.2024



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