CNA Staff, Oct 16, 2020 / 03:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
The coronavirus crisis has made the international community’s goal of eradicating poverty by 2030 even harder to achieve, a Vatican representative told the United Nations Tuesday.
In a statement Oct. 13, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said that, despite the pledge made in 2015, poverty remained “one of the greatest global challenges of our time.”
Speaking during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, he said: “In June 2020, the World Bank estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic could push as many as 100 million people into extreme poverty within this year, leading, for the first time in decades, to an increase in the poverty rates globally.”
“More than 200 million people have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Those who were already in vulnerable situations -- including the unemployed, those in ‘informal’ or precarious employment, seasonal and migrant workers -- are at risk of falling into poverty.”
Caccia argued that education was critical to lifting families out of poverty, but the pandemic had deprived many children around the world of access to schooling. He also highlighted what Pope Francis has called “pharmaceutical poverty”: unequal access to medicine and healthcare.