No quick end to economic damage after Covid-19 vaccine: UNCTAD

economic damage Covid-19

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned of a viable Covid-19 vaccine will not contain economic damage.

According to the report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the after-effects of the economic damage caused by the pandemic will be felt for a long time in the future especially by the poorest and most vulnerable.

Read more: In Europe, air pollution fell while plastic use rose during Covid-19 lockdowns

As per the UNCTAD report titled ‘Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development: Transition to a New Normal’, the global economy will contract by a staggering 4.3 percent in 2020 and warning that the crisis could send an additional 130 million people into extreme poverty.

The report further says, “Moving rapidly across borders, along the principal arteries of the global economy, the spread of the virus has benefited from the underlying interconnections — and frailties — of globalization, catapulting a global health crisis into a global economic shock that has hit the most vulnerable the hardest.”

It also says that the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 will be disrupted if immediate policy actions are not taken, especially in favor of the poorest. A better recovery must center on a renewed trade policy that tackles the twin challenges of market concentration and environmental impact.

The report also examines the gendered effects of the pandemic besides the direct economic damage, COVID-19 impacts on migrant workers, and the struggles of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) amidst shutdown response measures. Larger firms experienced smaller decreases in demand for products, supply of inputs, and cash flow availability.

Moreover, in order to support businesses and entrepreneurship, the report highlights UNCTAD’s technical cooperation programmes as helping countries put in place the policies, regulations, and institutional frameworks needed to mobilize the resources that can help vulnerable countries and groups recover from the pandemic.   

UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said, “Covid-19 has been painful and course-altering, but it is also a catalyst for needed change. We need to reshape global production networks and reset multilateral cooperation for the better.”

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