Dienstag, 13.04.2021 17:58 Uhr

Pandemic revealed the fragility of many economies

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 23.02.2021, 17:30 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Politik +++ Bericht 4442x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed the fragility of many economies and deepened existing inequalities, endangering decades of progress towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to the tragic loss of lives across the globe caused by COVID-19, the pandemic has exacerbated poverty and inequality and will likely cause an estimated 34.3 million people

to fall below the extreme poverty line in 2020, with an additional 130 million people possibly joining the ranks of those living in extreme poverty by 2030. This situation is dealing a huge blow to global efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. On some dimensions of human development, conditions today are comparable to levels of deprivation last seen in the mid-1980s. The pandemic is affecting education, livelihoods and, of course, human health (in excess of 1.9 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19). Unfortunately, the impacts of this planetary-scale pandemic are concomitant with three planetary-scale crises: climate change; the loss of biodiversity; and pollution and waste. Many Governments are missing the opportunity

for constructive change. Italy has understandably focused on containing the current health crisis and limiting the economic fall-out of lockdowns. Anyway, an initial analysis of stimulus measures at the moment reveals a notable lack of investment in sustainability. Italian national statistics agency (ISTAT) said on 22 February that Italy's GDP could be 2.3 percentage points higher in 2025 than under its base scenario thanks to the impact of the EU COVID-19 Recovery Fund. According to an initial simulation of Italy's recovery plan, the PNRR, the economy could have around 275,000 more jobs than it would have otherwise and the unemployment rate would be lower by 0.7 of a percentage point.

The simulation was presented by the national statistics agency at a joint hearing of the Senate budget and EU policies committees. The temptation to return to investing in polluting or nature-depleting technologies, rather than investing in emerging technologies that can support the shift to a low-carbon economy, should be avoided. Managed well, biodiversity and ecosystem services can drive economic growth, safeguard vulnerable populations, provide nutritious food at affordable prices, support sustainable jobs and help the transition to a more sustainable future. Realizing such benefits, however, will require an unprecedented redirection of funds and new investments, including investments that build on an understanding of natural capital.

Furthermore, when designing labour policies, multi-stakeholder dialogues should take place between all segments of society in order to include groups that are frequently left out, especially women and youth. Potential areas for nature-positive recoveries include conditionalities on lending and debt forgiveness, specific spending targets within stimulus packages. The destruction of the natural world is a major driver behind the increasing emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases. As natural areas are destroyed and fragmented to meet human needs for agriculture, infrastructure and materials, pathogens are more easily transmitted between humans and animals.

Some 60 per cent of known infectious diseases, and 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases, are zoonotic, meaning they can jump between animals and humans. These contagions take a heavy toll on humanity as millions of people die each year from undiagnosed or neglected zoonotic diseases. The pathogens also weigh on the world economy. Over the past 20 years, these diseases have caused approximately $100 billion of economic damage, a score that does not include the effects of COVID-19.

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