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The Impact of COVID-19 on Latin America and the Caribbean: policy brief

Secretary-General's policy briefs related to COVID-19

Published date 2020-07-31
Author António Guterres - United Nations
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Parts of Latin America and the Caribbean have become hotspots of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, exacerbated by weak social protection, fragmented health systems and profound inequalities. COVID-19 will result in the worst recession in the region in a century, causing a 9.1% contraction in regional GDP in 2020.1 This could push the number of poor up by 45 million (to a total of 230 million) and the number of extremely poor by 28 million (to 96 million in total), putting them at risk of undernutrition...

Recovery from the pandemic should be an occasion to transform the development model of Latin America and the Caribbean while strengthening democracy, safeguarding human rights and sustaining peace, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The costs of inequality in the region have become untenable. The response requires rebalancing the role of states, markets and civil society, emphasis on transparency, greater accountability and inclusiveness to support democracy, strengthening the rule of law and protecting and promoting human rights. The root causes of inequality, political instability and displacement need to be addressed. These steps, in turn, demand social compacts for legitimacy and support, a strong commitment to the fight against corruption and organized crime, as well as an effective, accountable and responsive presence of the state throughout the territory. The peacebuilding gains made in the past three decades need to be preserved and deepened.