Economy & Trade

Martin Khor, Third Worldist

Martin Khor Kok Peng passed away just after the end of the first quarter of 2020. He leaves behind an unusually rich legacy. Atypically for people mainly working in the worldideas, he was also a very practical and pragmatic activist who successfully built and sustained several important initiatives which will live on after him.

What More than COVID-19 to Jolt G20 into Collective Action?

My recent study on “The G20@10: Time to shift gears” 1 shows that, during the past decade, the main joint, collective action of the G20 has been to issue communiqués and other types of statements.

Can We Use Digital Technology to Cushion the Pandemic’s Blow?

As the world grapples with COVID-19, governments face a daunting challenge: limiting the adverse impact of a pandemic that has ground economic activity to a halt, affecting people at a scale rarely seen before.

Snapshot of Life under Lockdown in Bangladesh

The Coronavirus pandemic is changing how we live our daily lives. The scale of the COVID-19 and its impact on our lives is unprecedented. When humanity gets past this, the world will be a very different place than the one we have known.

Surviving Domestic Violence in times of Covid19

“I come from Baglung District, a part of Dhawalagiri Zone in Nepal. My house overlooks the river. Do you know, our district is known for the suspension bridges?”, her eyes glimmer for a fraction of a second and then she breathes a heavy sigh! Her right hand is still wrapped in a scarf, while with the other she pats her 17-month-old. “If I ever get a chance I will take you to my village, we have a lot of medicinal plants.” She pauses while tears roll down as she continues our Facetime session. “I was 16 when I had my first child and I was 17 when my arm was broken by my mother-in-law.”

Dangers and Lessons of Present Multiple Crises

The Covid-19 pandemic, erupting in the background of lethargic global economy, could turn out to be the singular biggest crisis in a century. First reported in Wuhan, China, the corona virus has reached almost all countries. It has infected close to 1 million persons and caused over 40,000 deaths at time of writing; and the figures keep climbing. It is a health catastrophe which if not checked in its track would be the most serious since the Spanish Flu of 1918 that killed over 50 million people.

The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Developing Countries

What is likely to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing economies? It is difficult to make predictions, because much will depend on the spread of the disease, especially in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, and the measures various Governments will take in the coming weeks and months. 

West First Policies Expose Myths

As the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic shifts from China to the developed West, all too many rich countries are acting selfishly, invoking the ‘national interest’, by banning exports of vital medical supplies.

Harness Youth to Change World’s Future

Vanessa Nakate of Uganda may have been cropped out of a photograph taken at the World Economic Forum, but she along with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg have made the climate crisis centre stage.

Supporting Informal Workers During the COVID-19 Crisis

Farmers, agricultural labourers, and informal sector workers are the worst hit by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns. Here are some steps that the government and banks can take to help them cope financially.

India’s Trinity of Challenges

The exigencies of combatting the coronavirus pandemic on a war-footing -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide stay-at-home lockdown for 21 days to break the chain of transmission -- has certainly deflected attention from equally pressing challenges confronting India. The nation’s capital witnessed horrific communal violence when the US President was visiting India, triggering international outrage, including from the South. The economy also deserves attention as growth has been decelerating since 2016-17. With the virus shock, the pace of expansion will contract as the economy shuts down and slides into recession.

East Asian Lessons for Controlling Covid-19

By the third week of March 2020, the number of Covid-19 deaths in Italy had overtaken the number of deaths in China. Authorities all over the world are restricting the movements of their populations as part of efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

COVID-19 in the Time of Insecurity

Humankind has outlived multiple pandemics in the course of world history. The kingdoms and states of Central and Western Europe abolished the institution of serfdom once it had become clear that medieval rule in the aftermath of devastating pestilence would founder without ending the dependency and servitude that characterized the Dark Ages. The vulnerability of entire nations to the risk of total collapse in the absence of widespread access to the most basic healthcare in the Spanish Flu spurred governments to build the public health systems that have made the progress and development of the last hundred years possible. If the past is prologue, then continuity and survival command that we change.

Health Workers Are the Frontline Soldiers Against Covid-19. Let’s Protect Them

Many soldiers have seen first-hand the horrors of war and, terrifying though it often was, they knew who they were fighting, and could recognise their enemy.

Stronger UN Leadership Needed to Cope with Coronavirus Threat

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is hard to predict as events are still unfolding, and estimates vary dramatically. UNCTAD estimates lost output in the order of US$1 trillion, just over a third of Bloomberg’s expectation of US$2.7 trillion in losses. The OECD expects global economic growth to halve from already anaemic levels.

Fisherfolk Fix Both Food and Climate by Closing Fishing Grounds

Samsul sounded very happy last Monday (Mar. 16) when recounting his experience of catching crabs worth more than $60 in a single day. 

Fighting Coronavirus: It’s Time to Invest in Universal Public Health

Austerity policies pushed by international financial institutions have weakened public health systems, despite current financial support packages, condemning many people to die.

Women & Climate: Planting a Global Forest in a Connected World

In January of this year, Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shocked much of the world when they announced they would be stepping down from their roles as senior royals.

3Returns Blog

On Thursday 20 and Friday 21 February, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) and the University of Queensland (UQ) held a validation workshop on the 3Returns Model and Framework, presenting an Investment Case for Coastal Landscape Mangrove Restoration in Myanmar through the findings from an Economic Appraisal of Ayeyarwady Mangrove Forests, Bio-based Value Chains for Mangrove Restoration and Benefit Sharing Mechanisms. The event proved informative for both participants and presenters alike, providing critical insights and opening dialogue between multiple government departments.

State Intervention Necessary to Overcome Covid-19 Threats

It is now clear that most East Asian government responses to novel coronavirus or Covid-19 outbreaks have been effective. In Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, the number infected have remained relatively low despite their proximity and vulnerability, while containment in China and South Korea has been impressive.

Use Stimulus Packages for Longer Term Progress

The coronavirus pandemic seems to have finally forced governments around the world to ditch their obsession (at least for the moment) with delivering budget surplus. As stock markets tumble, stimulus measures, worth billions of dollars, are announced to boost investor confidence and consumer spending to keep economies running.

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