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1 Jun 2020

Sonia Elks, Thomson Reuters

CIVICUS says attempts to reassert austerity or prioritise needs of big business must be avoided in post-COVID recovery

"World urged to rebuild greener, more equal economies after coronavirus", 28 May 2020

Plans to rebuild shattered economies after the new coronavirus pandemic offer a chance to create greener, fairer societies amid growing anger worldwide at rising inequality, the civil society group CIVICUS said... The crisis has deepened and laid bare economic inequalities, with many essential roles such as food delivery and medical care undertaken by people with low pay, job insecurity and few social safety nets... "This is really a turning point," chief programmes officer Mandeep Tiwana told..., adding that desperation could boil over into unrest if action was not taken. More than a billion workers, many of whom are low-paid, could lose their jobs to the pandemic, the International Labour Organization warned last month... CIVICUS said that any attempts to reassert austerity policies or prioritise the needs of big business in recovery must be avoided as the impacts would hurt those who have already suffered the most... Protests in 2019 already showed a clear trend in calling for fairer economies, CIVICUS said in its annual report, drawing on 50 interviews with civil society activists and leaders from around the world... Many demonstrations were triggered by economic pressures - from transport costs in Chile to fuel prices in Zimbabwe - but grew into wider campaigns against inequities and corruption.. Separately, campaigners called for global reforms to block corporations that use tax havens from receiving COVID-19 bailouts and to ensure that developing countries earn the revenues they need to finance their recovery from coronavirus... ..