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Global Economy Under Severe Stress: UN Official

  • Bread is seen at a bakery in Paris, France, April 15, 2022.

    Bread is seen at a bakery in Paris, France, April 15, 2022. | Photo: Xinhua/Gao Jing

Published 25 April 2022

With the global economy under severe stress, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) need an urgent rescue, said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Monday.

"The global economy is under severe stress. Many developing countries are reeling from the crippling effects of an uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ticking time bomb of the climate crisis. Vaccine inequities continue. The war in Ukraine is now sending shockwaves through global food, energy and financial markets," she said, speaking on behalf of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the opening of the Financing for Development Forum.

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Many economies are on the brink of a downward spiral of insolvency, cuts in critical investments, economic contraction and rising unemployment. Decades of development progress are being eroded. The World Bank predicts that a quarter of a billion people could be pushed into extreme poverty this year. Up to 323 million people could face acute food insecurity. And the essential transition to clean and sustainable energy is at enormous risk, she added.
"There are early signs of a tsunami of potential debt crises, deprivation, discontent and civil unrest. No country, developed or developing, will be isolated from the socio-economic impacts."
The SDGs are in need of urgent rescue. Financing for development is an essential part of the solution, she said.
Because the global response falls far short of the goals, Guterres established the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance. She said the goal is to ensure high-level political leadership; get ahead of the perfect storm of food security, energy, and financing challenges; and implement a coordinated global response.
The international financial system has deep pockets. The world has the capacity to make sure all countries can get through this crisis with their development prospects intact, she said.
The deputy secretary-general spoke for Guterres, who is on his way to a meeting on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, followed by a discussion on Thursday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev.
In 2015, UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a peace and prosperity blueprint with 17 SDGs to be reached through a global partnership.

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