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UN chief draws special attention to world's poorest amid global crises

2009-09-24 10:32 BJT

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- At a time of multiple global crises, including those related to finances, food and flu, the poorest and most vulnerable in the world at large deserve special attention by the international community, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told world leaders gathered at the United Nations here Wednesday.

"Millions of people around the world are not seeing the green shoots of recovery we are starting to hear about in some places," he said at a lunch for heads of state and government who are in New York for the annual general debate of the General Assembly.

"For them, the crisis is picking up speed. For them, it is not just one crisis but several, hitting them all at once, multiplying the challenges and the damage," said the secretary-general.

"We are not prepared for this toxic mix. International and national safety nets are frayed," he said. "Not only that, we know very little about what is happening in the lives of those most affected."

As part of its commitment to provide world leaders with solid information and analysis, the UN has produced a new report, entitled "Voices of the Vulnerable: the Economic Crisis from the Ground Up," which details about how the crisis is affecting people and households around the world.

Released last week, the report finds that 100 million more people are likely to have been pushed below the poverty line as a result of the economic crisis. In addition, global unemployment could also increase by up to 61 million between 2007 and 2009.