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In a letter to the Lancet, Alexander Broadbent, Damian Walker, Kalipso Chalkidou, Richard Sullivan, Amanda Glassman argue that lockdown is not egalitarian. From the correspondence:
We support Richard Horton's call for a post-COVID-19 health recovery programme, but his lack of attention to so-called lockdown victims is disappointing.
Evidence of avoidable non-COVID-19 deaths (eg, cancer deaths, child deaths from measles, women dying in labour) is mounting. We are disappointed by the false dichotomy implicit in the assertion that there “should be no trade-off between health and wealth”. The wealthy might profit from the economy, but the poor live by it.
Like UNICEF and others, we believe that lockdowns kill people through disruption of health services and deprivation of livelihoods. At the bottom of the global pile, recession is not just a matter of having less: it is a matter of life and death.
From the op-ed:
"The risk of a merger is always that developmental priorities and outcomes will be subordinated to other foreign policy interests. Without strong political leadership for development within the new departmental arrangement, the UK risks losing the soft power and international clout that came from an independent, results-oriented, and effective DfID.
The merger risks deteriorating DfID’s focus on poverty reduction as the driver of development engagement. The 2002 International Development Act enshrined in law the single purpose of aid spending: every development assistance project or programme must by law either further sustainable development or promote the welfare of people and be likely to contribute to the reduction of poverty."
Prashant Yadav speaks to NPR about developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Excerpt from the transcript below:
PRASHANT YADAV: Somewhere along the way, we backtracked on global collaboration, which may hurt us in some ways.
MCEVERS: Prashant Yadav at the Center for Global Development studies medical supply chains. He told NPR it could be that multiple vaccines will emerge from different countries around the same time. That will make figuring out global manufacturing more challenging. The question is whether the U.S. is ready to cooperate with other countries.
YADAV: So some things are moving well, especially when it comes to things that manufacturing scientists and clinical scientists control, things which are about making sure that our global diplomacy is working, things that are about making sure that we work with this in a multilateral, coordinated manner. Those are where I think we see some deficiencies.
MCEVERS: Working with the rest of the world, especially the developing world, to produce and distribute a vaccine...
An article in the Guardian links to Mark Plant's paper calling for the IMF to allocate Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). From the article:
No country is emerging unscathed from the Covid-19 pandemic, but the impact on the world’s poorest countries is especially severe. Extreme poverty is on the rise and underfunded health systems are woefully ill-prepared to cope with the virus. The number of children in Africa dying of preventable diseases is increasing. The gains made in development since the turn of the millennium are being reversed...
As a result, the IMF and World Bank have to act as the finance ministry and the central bank for those countries that can’t go it alone. To fulfil this role, they need to be properly resourced. The IMF has its own way of creating money, known as special drawing rights, which can be converted into hard currency by member countries. There has rarely, if ever, been a stronger case for a new allocation of SDRs. This is also the time for the World Bank to be tripling both its regular lending and the soft loans and grants it provides to the world’s 76 poorest countries through its International Development Association. Credit guarantees from major shareholders would facilitate this.
From the article:
"...'My father complained [that] instead of me eating his food and occupying his space, I better get married,' Inna* told The New Humanitarian in April at her home near Ngaoundéré, in the Adamawa region. 'My father told me that marriage is my ticket to heaven – not education.'
There are far-reaching consequences to the continuing practice of child marriage. Girls are often stripped of educational opportunities and subjugated to lives of chores, childbearing, and domestic violence, UNICEF says. The World Health Organisation also says the leading causes of death for girls ages 15 to 19 are complications from pregnancy or childbirth.
Aid groups warn that forced child marriages could be on the rise globally due to school closures, food insecurity, and economic uncertainty triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ethiopia, more than 500 girls have been rescued from forced marriages since March, while anecdotal evidence suggests spikes in other countries such as Afghanistan, India, South Sudan, and Yemen.
The United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA, has predicted that the anticipated economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, along with disrupted efforts to end child marriage, could result in some 13 million more child marriages in the next decade.
Girls in developing countries are also at a substantial risk of gender-based violence, early pregnancy, and dropping out once schools re-open, according to a new survey from the Center for Global Development, a Washington D.C.-based think tank..."
Mikaela Gavas was quoted in Devex on EU guarantees. From the article:
BRUSSELS — The European Commission last week released the first assessment of its plan to use billions of taxpayer euros to partially cover investors' losses in development-friendly projects. The verdict? The European Fund for Sustainable Development Guarantee is an innovative tool, but it suffers from monitoring and operational challenges and is not yet ready to be fully assessed.
For now, Mikaela Gavas, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, told Devex in an email that by issuing the guarantees through five broad thematic windows, the commission had allowed the development banks "maximum flexibility to propose investmen programmes that suit their objectives, specialisation, and lower appetite for risk."
Contact: Sean Bartlett Center for Global Development email@example.com +1.202.821.2947
WASHINGTON – On behalf of the staff of the Center for Global Development (CGD), President Masood Ahmed released the following statement Thursday:
“As a Washington, DC-based think tank, focused internationally to fulfill our global development mission, the incidents of the past weeks have compelled us to look locally. And we are saddened and angered by the individual injustices and institutionalized discrimination that we have seen, from the taking of George Floyd's, Breonna Taylor's, and other Black lives to violent reactions against peaceful protesters. We join our local community and communities across the country—as well as all over the world—in calling for justice, working to end institutionalized racism and violence, and affirming that Black lives matter.
“Our mission at CGD is to conduct research and craft policy proposals to combat global poverty and promote global prosperity. Central to human development and prosperity is good governance grounded in fundamental human rights: civil, political, and judicial systems that advance equal rights, safety, and openness for everyone, especially the historically marginalized and victimized. It takes a concerted effort of conscientious people working together to undo the structural wrongs of the past and build a better future. This is just as true in low-income countries as it is in wealthy countries like the US.
“We are also looking internally at our staff and culture, at the areas where we haven’t done enough to advance and promote diversity. We are committed to doing better.”
About the Center for Global Development:
The Center for Global Development is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to reduce global poverty and improve lives through innovative economic research that drives better policy and practice by the world's top decision makers. https://www.cgdev.org/page/about-cgd
Rachel Silverman, Carleigh Krubiner, Kalipso Chalkidou, and Adrian Towse's work on developing a value-based advance market committment for a COVID-19 vaccine is mentioned in STAT News. From the article:
Calls for rethinking our pharmaceutical innovation system are swirling in the headwinds and tailwinds of Covid-19. How do we accelerate the arrival of treatments and vaccines in adequate quantities? And how do we ensure that everyone can access those treatments and vaccines?
Wealthy countries have a moral obligation to ensure that vaccines and treatments are accessible to the poor as well as to the rich. Self-interest guides in the same direction: If SARS-CoV-2 continues to circulate because vaccines don’t achieve adequate global penetration, it is more likely to mutate, potentially initiating a new pandemic...
In the Health Impact Fund model, the main reward for developing vaccines would be committed by governments up front and would not rely on high prices set after regulatory approval. Several proposals along these lines have been floated: Susan Athey, Michael Kremer, Christopher Snyder, and Alex Tabarrok have proposed a $70 billion “advanced market commitment” for supplying vaccines to the U.S. population. Rachel Silverman, Carleigh Krubiner, Kalipso Chalkidou, and Adrian Towse suggest a “value-based advance commitment” in which countries precommit to paying certain prices for fixed volumes of vaccines that meet specific technical requirements.