The coronavirus has aggravated the problems of vulnerable families.Manuel Bruque / EFE
OECD urges acceleration of vaccination to consolidate economic recovery
When the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party is commemorated in July, its leader, Xi Jinping, will puff out his chest and boast of having ended poverty.
What better way to celebrate.
In the country that for centuries welcomed large masses of the disinherited, the dream and promise of a prosperous society come true, even despite the coronavirus, and a decade in advance of what is envisaged by the United Nations in its 2030 Agenda.
It was a personal commitment from Xi himself.
In the last eight years, China has allocated 310 billion dollars to health, education, housing and direct transfers to those who needed it most.
It is true that international economists question the Chinese authorities' way of measuring, but it is undeniable that the impressive 70% reduction in global poverty in the past decades comes from the nearly 700 million Chinese (it is said soon) who have left of that category.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world has gone from reducing the number of extreme poor (who live on less than $ 1.90 a day) by 100 million people a year to seeing it increased by another 100 million in 2020 alone, due to the coronavirus.
In total, 766 million, almost 10% of the world's population.
It will come as no surprise that most of them are in low- and middle-income countries, the majority in Africa.
But not only.
Although of a different kind, poverty also gains more and more positions in urban areas and in rich countries.
There are the queues of hunger in the United States, in Madrid.
The combination of covid-19, conflict and climate change makes it impossible to reach Goal 1 of the 2030 Agenda, the end of poverty, on time.
To the point that in specialized circles there is already talk of the need to “recalibrate” the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Everything will depend on how the global post-pandemic economic recovery takes place.
If it is in V, there will be a possibility to stop such deterioration.
It could also be achieved with determined and concerted global action that puts the SDGs at the center of policies, but, seen with the nationalism of vaccines, it would be naive to think that the necessary conditions are in place.
We aspire to achieve immunity against the virus and it seems to have immunized us against the impact of the numbers.
The daily count of infections and deaths has become a litany that no longer impresses.
So what is 100 million more poor people, especially if they are far from home?
And while the West looks the other way, lost in its problems, China continues its fight against poverty.
In the dispute over global hegemony, who has the most ballots to continue gaining followers?