Billions of people are facing the greatest cost of living crisis in a generation due to rising food and energy prices amid rapid inflation and increasing debt, leaving the most vulnerable consumers in a dire situation, said the UN trade and development body, UNCTAD.
UNCTAD’s analysis shows that a 10 per cent increase in food prices will trigger a five per cent decrease in the incomes of the poorest families, roughly equivalent to the amount those families would normally spend on healthcare.
As consumers try to reduce their spending, they will pay a high price if they buy cheaper, but unsafe products.
The United States reports 43,000 deaths and 40 million injuries per year associated with consumer products, with yearly costs of over $3,000 per capita. “Governments must strive to continue and succeed in their long-term mission of protecting their consumers, a mission of renewed relevance today,” said UNCTAD Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan at the organisation’s intergovernmental meeting on consumer protection.
Keeping consumers safe is generally a top priority for governments around the world, UNCTAD research shows, with a developed network of laws and standards. While more developed countries have put in place product safety frameworks, developing countries with weaker systems, UNCTAD said, are less able to regulate the scourge of unsafe products
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