Davos Agenda 2022: At WEF, UN chief urges businesses to help low-income nations amid Covid and climate crises

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jan 18, 2022, 11:02 AM(IST)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seen on a TV screen addressing remotely the WEF Davos Agenda virtual sessions. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

During the address, Guterres said that the low-income countries are at a huge disadvantage

During a virtual address at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos Agenda 2022 on Monday (January 17), the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted urgent actions needed to help developing countries amid climate, coronavirus (COVID-19) and other crises. 

Guterres appealed to the business leaders to support developing countries in order to reform the global financial system. In the current scenario, developing and low-income countries need access to COVID-19 vaccines, they need assistance to combat the climate crisis and its related consequences. 

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During the address, Guterres said that the low-income countries are at a huge disadvantage. "They're experiencing their slowest growth in a generation," Guterres said. 

"The burdens of record inflation, shrinking fiscal space, high-interest rates and soaring energy and food prices are hitting every corner of the world and blocking recovery — especially in low- and some middle-income countries," he added. 

Talking about Covid vaccine equity, he said, "Last fall, the World Health Organization unveiled a strategy to vaccinate 40 per cent of people in all countries by the end of last year and 70 per cent by the middle of this year. We are nowhere near these targets."

"Vaccination rates in high-income countries are shamefully seven times higher than in African countries, and we need vaccine equity now," he added. 

Guterres, who began a second five-year term as UN chief on January 1. has long been pushing for more global action to address COVID-19 vaccine inequity and climate change and for reform of the global financial system.

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Meanwhile, in the latest report by Oxfam released on Sunday, it has been stated that the wealth of some richest people in the world has increased and how taxing them will benefit millions who face the worst of situations due to extreme poverty.  

Abby Maxman, who is the president of Oxfam America said that one of the "single most powerful tools" is there to address the level of "egregious and deadly inequality" is to tax the rich.

In a news release, she added that instead of lining the pockets of the ultra-wealthy, there's a need to invest billions of dollars in the economy, children and planet, paving the way for a more "equal and sustainable future". 

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