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How to Tackle Vulnerable Countries’ Triple Crisis

Summary:
The world can emerge stronger from its interconnected health, economic, and climate crises, but success will require bold, urgent, and far-sighted measures. World leaders must act today to ensure a durable, equitable recovery that does not neglect the most vulnerable populations. WASHINGTON, DC – The year 2020 changed everything. The world now faces interconnected health, economic, and climate crises that have no historical parallel. These converging threats affect everyone, but are especially devastating for vulnerable developing countries. Merkel Minus Angela Shan Yuqi/Xinhua via Getty Images Saving America’s Public

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The world can emerge stronger from its interconnected health, economic, and climate crises, but success will require bold, urgent, and far-sighted measures. World leaders must act today to ensure a durable, equitable recovery that does not neglect the most vulnerable populations.

WASHINGTON, DC – The year 2020 changed everything. The world now faces interconnected health, economic, and climate crises that have no historical parallel. These converging threats affect everyone, but are especially devastating for vulnerable developing countries.

The tragedy is that these countries receive relatively little direct public support to build resilience to climate change, and development assistance is being cut rather than expanded. As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted at the recent UN Climate Ambition Summit, developed countries are not on track to meet their commitment to provide $100 billion per year to support developing countries’ climate efforts.

The international community must now show solidarity and help vulnerable countries withstand the multiple threats they face. Doing so is in everyone’s interest, because the effects of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic shocks know no borders.

In 2020 alone, more than 50 million people were affected by climate-driven disasters while also facing the pandemic and economic crisis. From typhoons and cyclones battering Southeast Asian cities to severe droughts devastating African farmers, the consequences were severe. By the end of 2021, the pandemic could drive an additional 150 million people globally into extreme poverty.

Research by the Global Commission on Adaptation shows that every dollar invested in resilience generates up to $10 in net economic benefits. Such spending can give vulnerable countries an urgent economic boost during the COVID-19 crisis and...

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