The global scale of the pandemic has not only placed new constraints on the current humanitarian financing model. It has also revealed, once more, chronic difficulties to pre-arrange resources in the face of predictable needs and to channel resources efficiently to the frontlines. As the system faces this and other threats—climate change and an increase in conflict—financial resources are outpaced by the growth in needs. Now is the time to collectively agree more ambitious changes
CGD Policy Blogs
In 2020, the global economy was hit by an unprecedented exogenous shock—an event that occurs outside the economic system but which has a great impact on it—in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced many countries across the globe to implement economic restrictions and lockdowns to minimize its spread.
Like most countries across the world, Ghana closed schools for long stretches of 2020. In this blog, we present findings from a nationally representative household survey carried out in March 2021 on the effects of the pandemic on education in the country.
Over the past year we partnered with researchers in Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, and Uganda to document, from a whole-of-health perspective, what we know about the nature, scale, and scope of COVID-19’s disruptions to essential health services in those countries, and the health effects of such disruptions. In a working paper released today, we build on a blog we published in March when we released working papers from each country team (the papers are available here: Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, Uganda). In this new working paper, we summarize the results and lessons across the four countries in more detail. We also tie together many of the blogs we have written on this topic over the past year (this series of blogs can be found here).
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed 120 million people across the globe into extreme poverty, and the limited data available thus far suggests that the wealth of extremely rich individuals has risen at the same time. In this blog post, we provide new evidence that in addition to its human cost, terrorism can have important consequences for public budgets. Most of the costs of terrorism—like loss of life and political upheaval—are well-known, but the macroeconomic and fiscal impacts are less well understood.
A new allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) amounting to some $650 billion is now expected the end of August. This allocation of an IMF reserve asset, intended to help countries weather the economic crisis created by COVID-19, will be more than 2½ times the size of the last allocation and substantially boost countries’ gross international reserves. For many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) these added reserves will provide policymakers much needed room for maneuver as they continue to struggle with huge economic impact of the global pandemic and its aftermath.
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is the $60 billion agency that’s supposed to catalyze investment to capital-starved countries, bolster job-creation in emerging markets, and support US foreign policy. The BUILD Act which created the DFC was a bipartisan bill, carefully crafted to overcome long-standing objections from both liberals and conservatives to its beleaguered predecessor agency. Recent actions from the Hill and the White House, each one arguably unobjectionable on its own, all add up to a highly worrying erosion of the DFC’s mandate—that threaten both the political bargain that sustains the agency and US strategic goals across Africa.
Through CGD’s COVID-19 Gender and Development Initiative, the Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice Helpline (SPACE) and ODI’s research project on social protection response to Covid-19 and beyond, we have each explored the ways in which the crisis has magnified various forms of gender inequality, how social protection efforts aim to address these inequalities, (or in some cases may risk exacerbating them), and propose recommendations to ensure an inclusive recovery, including by harnessing gender-informed social protection.
If B3W is to be the better Belt and Road, it will have to embrace the role of government in infrastructure provision and ensure private sector infrastructure projects are designed and run in the public interest. Otherwise, and despite the denials-, low- and middle-income countries would be right to see it as not about them, but just about China.