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Guest Editorial | Reducing inequalities

Many countries affected by COVID-19 are slowly easing into what is being popularized as the new normal. This affirms that we can no longer go back to the situation before the pandemic hit and changed the world’s landscape. In the midst of our struggle to save as many lives, we are made aware that inequalities further divide the people and that the disadvantaged are pushed further to the edge. We take the liberty of printing the UN Sustainable Development Goal 10, to highlight the need to work in reducing inequality across the world.

“Reducing inequalities and ensuring no one is left behind are integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Inequality within and among countries is a persistent cause for concern. Despite some positive signs toward reducing inequality in some dimensions, such as reducing relative income inequality in some countries and preferential trade status benefiting lower-income countries, inequality still persists.

“COVID-19 has deepened existing inequalities, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable communities the hardest. It has put a spotlight on economic inequalities and fragile social safety nets that leave vulnerable communities to bear the brunt of the crisis. At the same time, social, political and economic inequalities have amplified the impacts of the pandemic.

“On the economic front, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased global unemployment and dramatically slashed workers’ incomes.

“COVID-19 also puts at risk the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights over the past decades. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex.

Inequalities are also deepening for vulnerable populations in countries with weaker health systems and those facing existing humanitarian crises. Refugees and migrants, as well as indigenous peoples, older persons, people with disabilities and children are particularly at risk of being left behind. And hate speech targeting vulnerable groups is rising.”

(https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/inequality)

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