The objective of this analysis is to explore the impact of, and responses to, COVID-19 and how it is affecting the Global South. It delves into the social and economic impacts which have been influenced by existing structures, weak policy responses, multiple crises and other factors. It aims to bring in critical perspectives from the Global South to highlight the differences and commonalities of opportunities and policy alternatives between the Global North and South.
COVID-19 has severely affected economies in the Global South. Gross domestic product (GDP) has been affected not only because of lockdowns, but also because of the global slowdown and its effects on tourism, trade in goods, and capital flows. Whilst the immediate health and direct economic impact appears to be lower or similar between poorer and richer economies, poorer countries are likely to be affected more in the medium term because of less well-resourced policy responses. Furthermore, the pandemic is having significant social impacts such as rising inequality and the creation of new vulnerable groups.
This paper further explores some of the policies in the Global South characterized by limited access to international financial resources and limited capacity to mobilize domestic resources. It has become clear that social safety nets in many countries have not coped well with the current crisis, both because of lack of resources and weak targeting mechanisms in place to reach out to the informal sector. Additionally, the response from the development cooperation system has been insufficient, given the intensity of the crisis.
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