Slow-Motion Disasters

Unintended consequences of worldwide economic shutdowns continue on


Justice Politics

As the pandemic crisis wanes for wealthy nations, the unintended consequences of worldwide economic shutdowns will continue to unfold for years in poorer parts of the globe. Two examples of this are found in two Church-affiliated news outlets.

The first is a LiCAS News article, “Child labor rises to 160 million – first increase in two decades” (June 10). A link to the full article is below. Some highlights, or in the case of bad news, lowlights:

  • A report by the International Labor Organization and UNICEF says the number of children in child labor increased by 8.4 million in the last four years, “with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19.”
  • Progress to end child labor “has stalled for the first time in 20 years, reversing the previous downward trend that saw child labor fall by 94 million between 2000 and 2016.”
  • “The agriculture sector accounts for 70 percent of children in child labor (112 million).”

The second is from AsiaNews, “Over 10 million North Koreans need humanitarian assistance” (June 9). The troubled country’s economy has been further damaged by the closure of borders in response to COVID-19.

  • A report by an NGO based in Geneva states that North Korea’s serious crisis is mainly due to food insecurity, the weakness of the national health system, and limited access to drinking water.
  • The Kim regime’s political and economic plans, as well as international sanctions and repeated natural disasters, have contributed to the crisis.
  • Pyongyang continues to maintain border restrictions even with China, which claims to have tight control of COVID cases.


The LiCAS link:

The AsiaNews link:


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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