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LETTER: The deadly divide

Years of progress in eliminating poverty around the world threatens to be wiped out by COVID-19.

Prior to the pandemic, the poverty rate for women was expected to decrease by 2.7 per cent between 2019 and 2021. Now, poverty is projected to increase by 9.1 per cent in this timeframe, plunging 47 million more women and girls below the poverty line, reversing decades of progress.

So, what can be done about this? First and foremost, Canada must continue to spend one per cent of the COVID budget on countries in the developing world, and secondly, must be sure to share vaccines equally, keeping in mind that until everyone is vaccinated, in this era of international travel, no one is safe. Thirdly,we must address the fallout from COVID around the world, such as the halt to education in refugee camps, and the slowdown of vaccinations for other deadly diseases, to site a couple of examples.

We must bridge the deadly divide between the haves and have-nots. It is simply the right thing to do, and I, as a Canadian, would like to see us continue to take a leadership role.

Connie Lebeau

Victoria