This Virtual Side Event of the HLPF, entitled: “Building Back After the Pandemic: Work, Health and Well-being” will focus on the social development policy aspects related to work, health and well-being. It will discuss post-pandemic recovery by focusing on two critical goals: Goal 3 on good health and well-being; Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth. There is no doubt that the pandemic placed unprecedented strain on the healthcare systems, especially in developing countries. Indeed, many countries are struggling with weak health systems, overburdened health facilities, inadequate health infrastructure, and poor access to testing, PPE, vaccines and medications. Preventive social measures such as lockdowns and confinements led to the closing schools, offices, enterprises, restaurants, stores and public entertainment. Many people lost employment and livelihoods and countries experienced drastic reductions in productivity and economic growth. Women and girls have been disproportionately impacted with higher rates of job losses and the increasing burden of unpaid care. which is disproportionately carried by women. These disruptions continue to exacerbate already existing socio-economic and gender inequalities, and to expose new ones, such as the wide digital divide between developed and developing nations. In 2019, less than 20 percent of people in developing countries had access to the Internet, compared to 87 percent in developed societies. Digital inequalities directly impact the way societies may be able to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The speakers in this virtual event will consider the impacts of the pandemic on populations in the developing countries and suggest strategies for responding to the effects of the pandemic and ‘build back better’ and more sustainable societies. Based on their areas of expertise, panel members will address health issues in prevention, treatment and access to vaccines and medicines; issues regarding access to decent work and sustainable livelihoods, especially for the youth; transformative social protection issues as they relate to girls and women’s empowerment and equity; as well as youth, climate change and environmental justice.
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