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The Recovery Needs Development Aid

Although it may be tempting for governments to use the current crisis as an excuse to cut foreign development spending, they should be doing exactly the opposite. The more support that developing and emerging economies have to weather the storm, the faster the global recovery will be.

SUNSHINE COAST – At the start of the year, when COVID-19 was ravaging Wuhan, China, and beginning to envelop the West, I warned that the crisis would likely be replicated across much of the developing world, with significant long-term consequences for us all. Sadly, this prediction was correct.

As of mid-October, India is on track to overtake the United States as the country with the highest total of COVID-19 cases, and Latin America has experienced the most deaths of any region of the world. The World Bank warns that the pandemic could push around 50 million people in Asia and around 30 million in Africa into extreme poverty this year alone. If so, it will be the first time in more than two decades that the global rate of extreme poverty has increased.

The COVID-19 crisis has also accelerated other concerning shifts that were already underway, including the escalation of tensions between the US and China, rising protectionism, and a carbon-intensive recovery that threatens to set the world back in the fight against climate change. All of these trends will make the pre-pandemic development agenda even more difficult to achieve.

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