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UNIDO is working with its Member States and partners to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, to recover from its socioeconomic consequences, and to build a better future together.

As we recover from the immediate health emergency and its devastating impact on jobs, livelihoods and trade, the crisis also opens up an opportunity for a much-needed transformation that will speed up progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and protect us from future crises.

UNIDO and the impact of the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the worst human and economic crisis for decades, leading to a decline in manufacturing output, spending, incomes, employment, and overall economic growth, ultimately resulting in the deepest recession since the Second World War. Beyond these short-term dynamics, the pandemic triggered major shifts such as the accelerating pace of digitalization and automation, the fourth industrial revolution, and its impact on labour markets and productivity.

The achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is seriously jeopardized and the effects of the pandemic can be long-lasting and severe, unless the international policy response focuses on a robust and sustainable recovery and on economic, societal and climate resilience.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, economies with a strong, diversified industrial sector were found to be associated with a lower loss in GDP growth and a faster recovery. UNIDO’s work in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development is therefore of critical importance for socio-economic recovery and to build a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future.