Most countries bouncing back from COVID-19, but poorest are not: UN – GLOBAL

March 14, 2024

Many countries are bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the poorest are not and a significant number are seeing their conditions deteriorate, the UN Development Program said Wednesday.

Achim Steiner, head of the agency, said that after two decades during which rich and poor countries were coming closer in terms of development, the finding is “a very strong warning signal” that nations are now drifting apart.

The Human Development Index that the agency has produced since 1990 is projected to reach record highs in 2023 after steep declines during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.

But development in half of the world’s poorest countries remains below 2019 pre-pandemic levels, the report said.

“It’s a rich person’s versus a poor person’s world in which we are seeing development unfolding in very unequal, partially incomplete ways,” Steiner said at a news conference.

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