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Boosting Resilience to COVID-19

Resilience helped leaders respond to the collapse of the financial system during the Great Recession. During COVID-19, resilience can help countries rebound from the toll the virus will take on healthcare, the economy, education, and employment.

GENEVA – More than 180 countries and territories have confirmed a case of coronavirus, and the number of cases worldwide has reached more than 870,000. Like a massive storm front, the crisis threatens not only to overwhelm health-care systems but also to collide in unpredictable ways with childcare, education, employment, and transportation.

The question for national leaders is whether their countries can weather this unprecedented crisis as it crosses borders. Addressing it requires accepting two fundamental axioms. First, global risks such as pandemics are expressed at both the national and local level. Second, no country alone can prevent such occurrences or mitigate their impact.

Unfortunately, many leaders do not seem to understand these rules. What they mostly agree on is that unprecedented economic measures are needed to address a simultaneous demand and supply shock of this magnitude and duration. As citizens wait for these measures to be implemented, each community is being tested.

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