COVID-19 has devastated the world. Economies have been switched-off. Health systems have been over-run.
This global crisis has highlighted the inequalities and dangers facing the poorest people in the world. As we start again, we have an opportunity to rebuild a better world.
We must Build Back Better.
“There is a natural tendency in the face of crisis to take care of one’s own first. But true leadership understands that there are times to think big and more generously.” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General
COVID-19 has shown us how interconnected and interdependent our world is. It has also highlighted how vulnerable the poorest members of our global society are during emergencies.
Too many countries lack basic healthcare.
Too many countries lack safety nets to protect their people.
Billions of dollars globally are now being injected into economies through bailouts and stimulus packages. Yet we have to rebuild the world in a way that ensures millions of people are not left behind.
The pandemic has highlighted the structural failures in our existing economic, political and social systems. These failures have created the global crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, food insecurity, conflict, displacement and deepening inequality.
These crises are a result of political choices over decades, along with unregulated corporate power. They have undermined human rights and the protection of the environment.
Now is the time to make different political choices. Now is the time to Build Back Better.
The situation is stark:
265 million people could be facing starvation by the end of 2020
The economic fallout from COVID could push an additional half a billion people into poverty
Only 1 in 5 people in low-income countries are covered by safety net programmes
Yet, this is a unique moment.
We have the opportunity to transform to more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive societies that leave no-one behind.
Building back better is not a return to business as usual.
Building back better means supporting countries with overseas aid so they can build the healthcare systems and infrastructure needed to overcome this crisis.
Building back better means investing in an economic recovery that tackles the climate emergency.
Building back better means an economic recovery that is fair and just for all, that doesn’t involve exploitation. It means companies respect human rights when their operations have the potential to impact on vulnerable people.