The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Ghebreyesus, said that although the upcoming vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel, "we simply cannot accept a world in which the poor and marginalized are trampled by the rich and powerful in the stampede for vaccines."
"A vaccine will help to end the pandemic. But it will not address the vulnerabilities that lie at its root. There is no vaccine for poverty, no vaccine for hunger. There is no vaccine for inequality. There is no vaccine for climate change," WHO chief stressed while speaking at at 31st UN General Assembly Special Session on COVID-19 pandemic in New York on Friday.
World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley said that "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic, based on what we are seeing at this stage of the game. And because, we spend 19 trillion dollars - that money may and will not most likely be available for 2021."
UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said the increasing poverty and hunger will grow, leaving hundreds of millions of children out of school.
"In particular, we have a horrible, horrible plague of violence against women and girls," Lowcock stressed adding that, "all the stress and anxiety and frustration is, I'm afraid, being taken out in a very shocking way against women and girls all around the planet."
UN human rights chief Michele Bachelet said the virus does not discriminate, but it affects the vulnerable groups far more because of the systemic discrimination they face.