Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman has claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will shrink the global economy by 5.2 percent,
During a T20 conference, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman who is also the chairman of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) said: “The pandemic poses a sustainability crisis that is interlinked across developmental pillars: Economics, social, energy, and environment.”
He added, “It is unprecedented in scope and intensity.”
The virtual three-day conference titled “Policy Recommendations for a Post-COVID-19 World” commenced on Monday to address the pandemic and its effects.
The minister appreciated the T20’s holistic plan for forming the standalone task force for COVID-19.
The prince urged people not to forget the “humanistic elements,” noting that people continue to experience loss of loved ones, and not to dismiss deaths as a statistic on a screen.
He emphasized the importance of factoring in humanitarian and health issues.
“We’re not trying to bring you scary stories but, to put things into perspective, it’s a situation that has not been seen anywhere before.”
The minister said that, while the pandemic is affecting society as a whole, those in poverty, the elderly, youth and minorities are particularly vulnerable.
“These groups tend to disproportionately bear the burden of health risks, unemployment, and access to child care,” said the minister, adding that the pandemic has highlighted the acuteness of these issues.
Women and youth empowerment were another major focus of the T20, the minister said.
“It’s dear to me simply because I have a wife, daughter and sister. Empowering women and fostering a youth-inclusive society goes without saying,” he said, adding: “We all aspire for better lives for our children and the children of others too.”