COVID-19: Looming crisis in developing countries threatens to devastate economies, ramp up inequality
(United Nations Development Programme) – The growing COVID-19 crisis threatens to disproportionately hit developing countries, not only as a health crisis in the short term but as a devastating social and economic crisis over the months and years to come.
Income losses are expected to exceed $220 billion in developing countries. With an estimated 55 per cent of the global population having no access to social protection, these losses will reverberate across societies, impacting education, human rights and, in the most severe cases, basic food security and nutrition.
Under-resourced hospitals and fragile health systems are likely to be overwhelmed. This may be further exacerbated by a spike in cases, as up to 75 per cent of people in least developed countries lack access to soap and water.
Additional social conditions, such as poor urban planning and overpopulation in some cities, weak waste disposal services, and even traffic congestion impeding access to healthcare facilities, may all add to the caseload.
“This pandemic is a health crisis. But not just a health crisis. For vast swathes of the globe, the pandemic will leave deep, deep scars,” noted Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “Without support from the international community, we risk a massive reversal of gains made over the last two decades, and an entire generation lost, if not in lives then in rights, opportunities and dignity.”
Read more at: United Nations Development Programme