COVID-19 is worst crisis since World War II: UN

UN chief Antonio Guterres in Kenya in July 2019 during the counter-terrorism talks
FILE:UN chief Antonio Guterres in Kenya in July 2019 during the counter-terrorism talks.PHOTO/REUTERS

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that the world faces the most challenging crisis since World War II, confronting a pandemic threatening people in every country, one that will bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in the recent past.”

There is also a risk that the combination of the disease and its economic impact will contribute to “enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict,” the U.N. chief said at the launch of a report on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.

Guterres called for a much stronger and more effective global response to the coronavirus pandemic and to the social and economic devastation that COVID-19 is causing.

He stressed that this will only be possible “if everybody comes together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake.”

He stressed that “we are still very far from where we need to be to effectively fight the COVID-19 worldwide and to be able to tackle the negative impacts on the global economy and the global societies.”

The report also cites International Labor Organization estimates for 2020 that between 5 million and 25 million jobs will be lost, with a corresponding loss of between $860 million and $3.4 trillion in labor income.