This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Poverty likely to rise by nearly 60% for workers in informal economy
COVID-19 lockdown and containment measures threaten to increase relative poverty levels among the workers in the informal economy, by as much as 56 per cent, in low-income countries, says a new briefing paper issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
It’s similarly bleak in high-income countries, where relative poverty levels will likely rise by 52 per cent, although middle-income countries will see a smaller increase of around 21 per cent.
As many as 1.6 billion of the world’s two billion informal sector workers, are affected by coronavirus containment measures.
Most are working in the hardest-hit sectors, including hotel and food services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and among more than 500 million farmers producing food for urban areas. Women are the hardest hit overall.
With no benefits, these workers have no choice but to carry on, in order to feed their families, which is endangering governments’ efforts to protect the population and fight the pandemic.
It may quickly become a source of social tension in countries with large informal economies, the report says.
UN launches $6.7 billion humanitarian appeal to stem COVID
The UN’s humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, called for swift and determined action on Thursday, appealing for $6.7 billion to avoid the most destabilizing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the most vulnerable countries.
COVID-19 has now reached every nation on the planet, with nearly 3.6 million confirmed cases and close to 248,000 deaths worldwide.
The peak of the disease in the world’s poorest countries is not expected until some point over the next three to six months, said the UN’s humanitarian affairs coordination office.
However, there is already evidence of incomes plummeting and jobs disappearing, food supplies falling and prices soaring, and children missing vaccinations and meals.
World tourism likely to plummet by up to 80 per cent, warns UN agency
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 22% fall in international tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2020, the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows.
But the crisis could lead to an annual decline of between 60% and 80% when compared with 2019 figures, warns the UN agency, placing millions of livelihoods at risk and threatening to roll back progress made in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
WTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, said that amidst the coronavirus crisis, tourism has been hit especially hard, in one of the most labour-intensive sectors of the economy.
Although the Asia-Pacific region has suffered the biggest decline with 33 million fewer arrivals so far this year, Europe is not far behind with a 22 million decline.
Matt Wells, UN News.