globalcitizen.org (10.09.2021) As countries seek to contain COVID-19, a return to the way things were is not an option, according to Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. Instead, countries must guarantee basic living conditions. “We see that when social protection remains weak, the poorest pay the price,” De Schutter said. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown, an estimated 115 million additional people may have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020, and 35 million more may follow this year. “This could have been avoided with strong social protection mechanisms, which shows that if governments maintain low levels of social support, societies are not ready to cushion shocks,” he added. “They actually run into a stone wall.” De Schutter recently spoke to Global Citizen about the global effort to achieve a “social protection floor,” what people get wrong about welfare, and how eliminating poverty helps all of us.