UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned 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.”
Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York City, Guterres said: “The new coronavirus disease is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods.
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 UN chief said at the launch of a report on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.
The UN report estimates that up to 25 million jobs could be lost around the world as the result of the coronavirus outbreak.
He urged the industrialised nations to help those less developed, or potentially “face the nightmare of the disease spreading like wildfire”.
“Covid-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” he added.
Around the world, more than 820,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus, and at least 174,000 have recovered. More than 40,000 people have died.