Showing posts from June, 2020

COVID-19 shows we need to strengthen social protections

One question which COVID-19 has brought to the fore is whether global pandemics are random events, beyond anyone’s control, part and parcel of living in a hyperconnected, nonlinear world. Or do they, in fact, reflect failures of governance, manifesting multiple weaknesses in our economic, social, political and environmental systems, which put our future at risk? And, if the latter, what can we do to mitigate them in the future, given the huge costs?  Where do we stand? The economic impact of COVID-19 is beyond what most of us have seen in our lifetimes. We thought of the global financial crisis in 2008–09 as having been the most disruptive wealth-destroying event of the past 80 years; but global GDP in 2009 actually contracted by “only” 0.1 percent. There were, of course, sharp regional variations, with the advanced economies being the most affected—see table below—but already by 2010, every region of the world was in a robust phase of recovery. GDP growth rates in 2020, however, are…