U.N. Agency: ‘Half of World’s Workers Lose Jobs Over Coronavirus’

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By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News  

(Worthy News) – A principal United Nations agency warns that nearly half of the world’s working population may lose jobs and incomes as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate lives and economies. The International Labour Organization (ILO) said some 1.6 billion people are in “immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed” by the economic impact of the virus outbreak and related measures. 

Among those suffering are also Christian labors and entrepreneurs in Asian nations Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Several of them told Worthy News they face challenges with work and poverty as government-imposed lockdowns continue with virtually no social aid available to them. “It is tough. I even had to dismiss some workers,” said Victoria, a Christian entrepreneur, and church worker.

Victoria, which isn’t her real name, runs confectionary and ice outlets in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province. The mother-of-three remains hopeful that her trade will increase after the lockdown. “In a way, we experience what the Bible writes about Noah during the flooding. He and his family
faced a lockdown for more than a year in the Ark,” she explained.      

Of the total global working population of 3.3 billion, about 2 billion work in the “informal economy,” often on short-term contracts or self-employment, according to ILO estimates.

The ILO said many of those working suffered a 60 percent fall in their wages due to the pandemic. With a further 1.6 billion facing losing their jobs, the situation is more complicated than anticipated, the ILO warned on Wednesday. “It shows I think in the starkest possible terms that the jobs employment crisis and all of its consequences is deepening. That is by comparison with our estimates of three weeks ago,” admitted the UN agency’s director-general, Guy Ryder.

He warned of foreseeing a “massive” poverty impact of the spread of the new coronavirus and related lockdowns. “For millions of workers,
no income means no food, no security, and no future. Millions of businesses around the world are barely breathing. They have no savings or access to credit,” Ryder noticed. “These are the real faces of the world of work,” the ILO leader added. “If we don’t help them now, they will simply perish.”

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