COVID-19 threatens to push millions more people into poverty and deprivation across the world, risking reversing the progress made so far, towards reaching the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Bank estimates that 49 million more people will fall into extreme poverty with the number likely to rise to 100 million. As a convening of religious and faith-based actors working to end Extreme Poverty and Realize the Sustainable Development Goals, we are fearful of the unfolding crisis and alarmed that the global community must take every measure not only to counter the spread of COVID-19, but also to mitigate and reverse its economic and social impacts especially on the most vulnerable communities, particularly women, children and displaced people. We note and are encouraged by other statements referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, issued recently; particularly the Joint Statement by United Nations Interagency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development (IATF) with the endorsement of the IATF Multi- Faith Advisory Council2. We hold the view that it is our duty to champion the rights of those impacted by COVID-19 and call upon the global faith communities to hold to account governments and global institutions including the World Bank Group [WBG], in this regard.

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