88 Noble Laureates, Leaders Call For $1 Trillion To Protect Children Amid COVID-19

A statement, signed among others by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Gordon Brown and Kerry Kennedy, highlights how COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities.

As many as 88 Nobel laureates including Kailash Satyarthi along with global leaders such as the Dalai Lama have requested governments to spend USD 1 trillion on marginalised children during the lockdowns and the post COVID-19 world.

A statement, signed among others by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Gordon Brown and Kerry Kennedy, highlights how COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities.

Noting that the coronavirus, restrictions placed on the majority of the world’s population, and the aftermath will have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable, the statement, issued at the initiative of India’s 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Satyarthi, calls for the governments to invest 20 per cent of their COVID-19 response to the poorest 20 per cent of humanity.

The USD 1 trillion amount would fund all the outstanding UN and charity COVID-19 appeals, cancel two years of all debt repayments from low-income countries, and fund two years of the global gap to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health, water and sanitation, and education, it said.

More than 10 million lives would be saved, it said. “We call on the leaders of the G20 to take additional action beyond their own borders for those who urgently need coordinated international aid. We also call on all the G20 leaders to honour existing global health commitments,” the statement added.

COVID-19 is disrupting education on an unprecedented scale. At the time of writing, UNESCO estimates that nearly 1.3 billion pupils have experienced school closures across 186 countries. And this is already leading to growing inequalities.

In countries with high levels of digital penetration, governments have sought to rapidly replace physical attendance at school with virtual education, trying to find ways to minimise the effects of the disruption on educational achievement

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