UN / BASIC INCOME REPORT

Preview Language:   Original
23-Jul-2020 00:01:36
In a report released today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said the immediate introduction of a temporary basic income for the world’s poorest people could slow the current surge in COVID-19 cases by enabling nearly three billion people to stay at home. UNIFEED

Available Language: English
Type
Language
Format
Acquire
/
English
Other Formats
Description
STORY: UN / BASIC INCOME REPORT
TRT: 1:36
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

23 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Med shot, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
"So the notion of a temporary basic income emerged as a viable way forward to both address the containment of the pandemic but also address the extraordinary human suffering and the escalating situation for many of the world's poorest; those living below the poverty line, and those just above the poverty line and very likely to fall below it in the coming weeks or months if nothing is done. It is for that reason that we considered the option of a temporary basic income as something that every needs to examine in terms of its domestic response, national budget planning, and measures that are being put in place."
4. Med shot, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
"The harsh reality is that, at this moment, the pandemic is reaching many countries that have a high number of vulnerable people, have limited social protection systems, and therefore we need to find ways in which we can address both the containment of the pandemic and the economic and social fallout."
6. Med shot, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
"It is estimated that over three trillion dollars would be paid by developing and emerging economies this year in debt repayments and interest payments. A debt standstill and a potential debt restructuring would be more than sufficient to cover both the financing of these temporary basic incomes, and they would be not necessarily needed for every country obviously. So, in many respects, this is a potentially viable proposition to an otherwise unmanageable situation right now."
8. Med shot, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric

STORYLINE:


In a report released today (23 Jul), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said the immediate introduction of a temporary basic income for the world’s poorest people could slow the current surge in COVID-19 cases by enabling nearly three billion people to stay at home.

The report, ‘Temporary Basic Income: Protecting Poor and Vulnerable People in Developing Countries,’ estimated that it would cost from 199 billion USD per month to provide a time-bound, guaranteed basic income to the 2.7 billion people living below or just above the poverty line in 132 developing countries.

The report concludes that the measure is feasible and urgently needed, with the pandemic now spreading at a rate of more than 1.5 million new cases per week, particularly in developing countries, where seven out of ten workers make a living through informal markets and cannot earn money if they are at home.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said it was very evident that the response measures being put in place are simply not commensurate economic and social fallout that is now being experienced. He said the pandemic is spreading particularly in the global south.

Steiner said all the steps needed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic create freefall social and economic conditions that leave hundreds of millions of people without income. He noted that the International Labour Organization estimates that in many developing countries people earn 70 to 80 per cent of their livelihoods in the informal sector, adding that lockdown, event selective lockdowns, mean the unavailability of income for many people in those countries which translates to the inability to buy food or get medical support.

The UNDP administrator stressed that the ability of governments to put measures in place to contain the pandemic is paramount as the world awaits a vaccine or the availability of medical treatments.

SOUNDBITE (English) Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
"So the notion of a temporary basic income emerged as a viable way forward to both address the containment of the pandemic but also address the extraordinary human suffering and the escalating situation for many of the world's poorest; those living below the poverty line, and those just above the poverty line and very likely to fall below it in the coming weeks or months if nothing is done. It is for that reason that we considered the option of a temporary basic income as something that every needs to examine in terms of its domestic response, national budget planning, and measures that are being put in place."

Steiner said, "The harsh reality is that, at this moment, the pandemic is reaching many countries that have a high number of vulnerable people, have limited social protection systems, and therefore we need to find ways in which we can address both the containment of the pandemic and the economic and social fallout."

One way for countries to pay for a Temporary Basic Income would be to repurpose the funds they would use this year to service their debt. Steiner said an estimated trillion dollars would be paid by developing and emerging economies this year in debt repayments and interest payments. He said a comprehensive debt standstill for all developing countries, as called for by the UN Secretary-General, would allow countries to temporarily repurpose these funds into emergency measures to combat the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Steiner added, “A debt standstill and a potential debt restructuring would be more than sufficient to cover both the financing of these temporary basic incomes, and they would be not necessarily needed for every country obviously. So, in many respects, this is a potentially viable proposition to an otherwise unmanageable situation right now."

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing global and national inequalities and has created new disparities that are hitting the most vulnerable people the hardest. With up to 100 million more people being pushed into extreme poverty in 2020, 1.4 billion children affected by school closures, and record-level unemployment and loss of livelihoods, UNDP predicts that global human development is on course to decline this year for the first time since the concept was introduced.
Series
Category
Personal Subjects
Creator
UNIFEED
Alternate Title
unifeed200723b
Asset ID
2551957