COVID-19 continues to race across the African continent. People are dying, and even more are being pushed into hunger and poverty, in many cases risking to overturn years of development gains.
Our world is transfixed by the great human toll and economic impact of the worst global pandemic in a century. For the 65 million inhabitants of small island developing states (SIDS), the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is reminiscent of the worst forms of extreme weather events that SIDS contend with annually. Such events cost lives, undermine our hard-earned development gains, and hamper the aspirations and quality of life of our people. Our governments are routinely compelled to shift already scarce resources from social and economic investments to recovery and sustenance in the aftermath of disasters. For decades islands have been treading a development tightrope, which is increasingly precarious with the intensification of adverse climate impacts.
In his early February annual State of the Union address
, US President Donald Trump typically hailed his own policies for increasing wages and jobs to achieve record low US unemployment. Directly appealing to labour for a second term, Trump claimed exclusive credit for the US “blue-collar boom”.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 set off a series of health and economic crises that feed upon each other. The health crisis exacerbates the economic crisis by disrupting supply chains, throwing large number of people (particularly those working in the informal sector) out of work and closing down large numbers of enterprises – particularly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
Dr David Nabarro is a Special Envoy of World Health Organization Director-General on COVID-19, Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London and Strategic Director of 4SD. His Narratives are being written with the 4SD team to help readers to make sense of the fast-evolving pandemic and its multiple consequences and to identify the questions to consider when making decisions about measures to contain and suppress outbreaks. They provide readers with insight from David’s leadership and continuous learning, as a public health and development professional with over 40 years’ experience across many countries and contexts, as we navigate this complex, multi-faceted crisis.
Unless there is a restructuring of debt for developing countries, the servicing for this debt will take away valuable resources from these nations that are needed to prevent the further suffering of people during the coronavirus pandemic -- particularly with regards to safeguarding the health systems, and protecting the “integrity and resilience of economies”.
The Covid-19 crisis has had several unexpected effects, including renewed attention to food security concerns. Earlier understandings of food security in terms of production self-sufficiency have given way to importing supplies since late 20th century promotion of trade liberalization.
Developing countries of Asia and the Pacific are experiencing unbalanced tolls of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grim milestones in infections and deaths have left countless devastated. Yet, we must look at the economic and social impacts in small island developing States (SIDS), where setbacks are likely to undo years of development gains and push many people back into poverty.
Cast your mind back. Six months ago—it seems like a lifetime—the world’s attention was on Madrid. The United Nations was meeting to take stock of international progress in fighting climate change. Headlines were dominated by young people pointing out—rightly—that governments were still not doing enough. They demanded urgent and ambitious action to cut emissions and help the most vulnerable.
Warnings at the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic that Africa could be hit by a wave of up to 10 million cases within six months thankfully now seem unfounded, although it is still far too early to be over-confident.
Global upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left society’s most vulnerable exposed. Instances of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) found online have increased at an alarming rate over past months.
In Malawi, Mary* was only 14 years old when she was recruited and trafficked to the city of Blantyre and sold for sex in a bar. A man had arrived in her village looking for girls to work as domestic helpers for families.
UNESCO launches a global campaign challenging our perception of normality. The 2’20” film relies on facts to prove its point – facts about the world before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Put together, these facts make us question our ideas about what is “normal”, suggesting that we have accepted the unacceptable for far too long. Our previous reality cannot be considered normal any longer, now is the time to make a change. It all starts with Education, Science, Culture and Information.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives, but also triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Over 75 percent of countries are now reopening at the same time as the pandemic is intensifying in many emerging market and developing economies. Several countries have started to recover. However, in the absence of a medical solution, the strength of the recovery is highly uncertain and the impact on sectors and countries uneven.
This guidance note highlights the emerging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
on women migrant workers
, focusing on the key challenges and risks they face. It makes recommendations in the context of the economic and social response and recovery packages that governments are putting forward, supported by examples of existing good practices from around the world.
A riot of canoes bumping into each other in narrow waterways — paddlers yell a chorus of instructions to other boats: “Move! Shift! Stop!”
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new layer of challenges to inclusive education. As many as 40 percent of low and lower-middle income countries having not supported disadvantaged learners during temporary school shutdowns, finds United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report
released today, Jun. 23.
Ed Conway and Sajid Javid talk to the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund about the global economic outlook, the level of support it's providing during the pandemic, how globalisation can help ease inequality and how she sees the shape of economic recovery.
The practical challenge of quickly getting financial support in the hands of people who lost jobs amid the COVID-19 economic crisis has baffled advanced and developing economies alike. Economic lockdowns, physical distancing measures, patchy social protection systems and, especially for low-income countries, the high level of informality, complicate the task. Many governments are leveraging mobile technology to help their citizens.