The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have a historic opportunity to help stabilize a world reeling from COVID-19. Doing so will require the institutions to change course and aggressively support poor countries’ ability to invest broadly in the government services their populations need.
The world’s poorer nations, reeling under an unrelenting attack on their fragile economies by the COVID-19 pandemic, have suffered an equally deadly body blow: being buried under heavy debt burdens.
It's eight o'clock in the morning and Pascuala Ninantay is carrying two large containers of water in her wheelbarrow to prepare with neighbouring women farmers 200 litres of organic fertiliser, which will then be distributed to fertilise their crops, in this town in the Andes highlands of Peru.
Globalization has been a driver for increased prosperity world-wide, but it has been in reverse in the last years due to the growth of populism in the USA and Europe. The COVID-19 pandemic may well provide further momentum to increasingly national-interest oriented policies in the west.
The new coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc across the world, as the number of infections and deaths rapidly rise. It has the potential to infect anybody regardless of age or gender. There are grave concerns that the economic fallout from COVID-19 may be comparable to that of the Great Depression. According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are 2,064,668 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 137,124 deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19). In Japan as of noon April 15, there were 8,100 cases of COVID-19 , 119 deaths, and 901 patients discharged from hospitals.
In the Philippines, Peru, India, Kenya, South Africa and many other developing countries, poor people who are already struggling with the health impact of the coronavirus pandemic have been targeted by online fraudsters trying to take unfair advantage of them.
Like much of the West, Argentina did not take many early precautionary actions after the Covid-19 epidemic was confirmed in January, but became the first Latin American country to act decisively with a 12 March public health emergency declaration.
The presidential decree came a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic, just over a week after the first case was detected in the republic on 3 March.
As the sun sets over the hills, Prafulla Debbarma, a small tea grower in Dhanbilash village in north eastern India, walks along the labyrinth path of his farm and past a thick blanket of well-grown tea plants. In the fading light, the farmer appears deeply worried. This tea farm, the sole source of his livelihood, remains unharvested thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
After her mother passed away, her father remarried and moved elsewhere, and so attending school became a luxury for 12-year-old Sheuly Munda.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain its diffusion are taking a heavy toll on the tourism sector. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the COVID-19 pandemic will result in a contraction of the tourism sector
by 20% to 30% in 2020.
A daily commute of two-and-a-half hours each way would take a toll on anyone, but for Özkan, a construction worker in Istanbul, the hardest part of his long journey is coping with his fears about what might happen after he gets home.
In Rwanda, Benimana Uwera Gilberthe, a scholar and pepper producer, experienced first-hand the challenges of breaking into agribusiness.
While in Nigeria, Ayoola Adewale is trying to understand if poultry egg farming will prove a profitable and viable business opportunity to the youth of the continent’s most populous nation. Also in Nigeria, Esther Alleluyanatha is understanding the link between young people leaving their villages for larger cities, the remittances they send home, and the implications on rural livelihoods and agriculture productivity.
An invisible adversary has thrown the world – Global South and Global North alike – into disarray. The psychosocial and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis will remain with us long after it has been overcome. There will be no anti-viral return to the pre-coronavirus status quo, nor can we afford to idly wait for a viral transformation of our world. The future is not inevitable, abstract promise – it will depend on our collective readiness to forge it, or to be forged by it.
For some time Wuhan in China and Lombardy in Italy were epicentres of the COVID-19 virus, something that has changed when the contagion is spreading fast in the US. A Lombardy in the grip of a deadly epidemic might among several Italians give rise to memories of their school days. For almost a century, Alessando Manzoni’s massive novel The Betrothed (I promessi sposi)
from 1842 has been obligatory reading for all Italians during their last primary school year. A quite impressive endeavour considering that the novel is more than 700 pages long.
The world is at risk of widespread famines resulting from lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The devastating economic impact of Covid-19 is seeing a huge rise in the number of hungry people.
On April 17, the Alberto Ángel Fernández administration in Argentina officially unveiled its offer for debt restructuring on USD 66 billion foreign currency-denominated bonds. Starting on that date, the offer is valid for 20 days, a period during which difficult negotiations with bondholders are expected to take place. Based on the first reactions from some of creditor groups, one could well get the sense that the offer is “dead on arrival.”
Africa’s frailties have been brutally exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has reached nearly every country on this continent of 1.3 billion people and the World Health Organization warns there could be 10 million cases within six months. Ten countries have no ventilators at all.
China and India, which went to war back in 1962 largely over a disputed Himalayan border-- and continue a longstanding battle for military supremacy in Asia-- have set a new record in arms spending.
Electricity demand normally depends on such variables as retail electricity rates, daytime temperature, time and day of the week, economic activity and consumer type (i.e.
residential, commercial, industrial, etc.).
Many uncertainties haunt the world’s campaign to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing is now sure: Global economic activity will suffer greatly, with large-scale consequences for the incomes and welfare of all, but especially for the most vulnerable food import-dependent countries.
The defining images of South Asia’s battle against Covid-19 are hundreds of thousands of migrants, many with children on their shoulders, trudging from New Delhi, Kathmandu or Dhaka to their far-flung villages. They are daily wage earners engaged in construction, small enterprises, plying rickshaws or street selling in the informal sector. With lockdowns and economic activity shut down to combat the virus, these migrants lost their low-paying jobs and were forced to flee to their rural homes. Those who remained in these cities face food insecurity, rising joblessness and risk falling deeper into poverty.