UN relief chief Mark Lowcock urges G20 to step up to avert ‘cascading crises’ in fragile countries

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The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession are set to trigger the first increase in global poverty, pushing nearly 265 million people to the point of starvation by the end of the year, the UN’s top humanitarian official warned.

Sir Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN, said the pandemic and associated global recession are about to wreak havoc in fragile and low-income countries.

Lowcock added that rich countries have thrown out the rulebook when it comes to protecting their own economies. They must apply the same exceptional measures to countries that need help.