The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-year report warned widening inequality is threatening global growth, projected at 5.4 per cent this year.
"Vaccine inequity between countries and regions is posing a significant risk to an already uneven and fragile global recovery," said UN Chief Economist Elliott Harris in a press release on Tuesday.
“Timely and universal access to covid-19 vaccinations will mean the difference between ending the pandemic promptly and placing the world economy on the trajectory of a resilient recovery, or losing many more years of growth, development and opportunities," Harris stated.
The mid-year forecast updates the WESP report published in January by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
It examines the performance of the world economy since the pandemic began, as well as the impact of global policy responses and post-crisis recovery scenarios.
The 5.4 per cent in projected global growth this year follows a sharp contraction of 3.6 per cent in 2020, and reflects an upward revision from the original forecast.
While the world’s two largest economies - China and the United States - are on the road to recovery, growth remains fragile and uncertain in several countries in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Many countries will not see economic output return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 or 2023.