The COVID-19 pandemic is a continuing human tragedy. It has exacerbated the risks and vulnerabilities that had been building in the global economy. It follows a decade that was characterised by reduced investment, by slowing growth of productivity, by faltering employment, by weakening social cohesion, by increasing pressure on the public finances; and by accelerating destruction of natural capital. The world is consequently confronting an interwoven set of challenges: the devastating health and social costs of
the pandemic; the diminished prospects for economic growth and employment against a backdrop of rising public debt; the mounting threats of climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss; growing inequality that has been exacerbated by the pandemic; and disrupted education for 90% of the world’s children. A failure to act on any of these dimensions will weaken progress on the others.

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