UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a meeting. File photo
The United Nations chief says the coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education in history, with schools closed in more than 160 countries in mid-July affecting more than 1 billion students.
In addition, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education "in their critical pre-school year.”
As a result, he warned that the world faces "a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.”
Image only for representation
"We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people,” Guterres said in a video message and a 26-page policy briefing. "The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come.”
Guterres called for the reopening of schools once the local transmission of the virus is under control.Associated Press
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the pandemic is revealing the extent to which people are marginalized and is intensifying the inequalities that people with disabilities already face, such as poverty and higher rates of violence, neglect and abuse.
The UN said "a long-term upsurge in the number and severity of mental health problems is likely” and warned that if action isn’t taken COVID-19 "has the seeds of a major mental health crisis” as well as "a physical health crisis.”
The UN disarmament chief says the COVID-19 pandemic is moving the world toward increased technological innovation and online collaboration, but "cybercrime is also on the rise, with a 600% increase in malicious emails during the current crisis.”
On a quiet road in India's capital, tucked away on a wide, red-bricked sidewalk, kids set adrift by the country's COVID-19 lockdown are being tutored.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern moved most of New Zealand to the lowest virus alert setting Monday, saying the country was edging towards eliminating Covid-19.
Ten people were killed and up to 25 were feared trapped after a three-storey residential building collapsed before dawn on Monday in western India, officials said.
World leaders will come together, virtually, on Monday to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, as the deadly coronavirus pandemic challenges the effectiveness and solidarity of the 193-member world body.