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From the article:
“‘...This will do nothing at all to slow the spread of coronavirus in the U.S.,’ Michael Clemens, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, told me. ‘The U.S. is by far the global epicenter of the disease. The horse has long ago left the barn on keeping it out.’
Nor is there reason to believe immigration more broadly is an important ally of the “Invisible Enemy” of coronavirus, as Trump claims. The Cato Institute crunched the numbers and found no correlation between coronavirus rates by county and immigrant share by county.
Meanwhile, liberal economist Jared Bernstein points out to me that positioning this move as a protection for workers right now completely misdiagnoses our ongoing economic calamity.
Joblessness is soaring because social distancing measures have deliberately placed the economy into a self-induced coma. And so, the jobless need direct and immediate financial help, not protection from labor market competition, and getting the economy going is directly linked to the need for far more expansive testing, so people can return to economic activities safely...”
From the article:
“Indeed, soon after schools across Liberia closed on March 16, when the country's first coronavirus case was confirmed, authorities launched a radio schooling initiative to bridge an education gap.
Within two weeks, the first lessons were aired on radio stations nationwide. Today, some 32 stations now broadcast several prerecorded lessons a day, each lasting half an hour, catering to different educational levels.
It is a hands-on venture, with senior officials from the Ministry of Education devising and recording their own lessons. Other classes are produced by private education providers, including Rising Academies, which manages a network of some 140 schools in Liberia and neighbouring Sierra Leone.
Lessons cover subjects from literature to maths and science to social studies, interspersed with health tips and messages promoting the wellbeing of students and their families.
Many of the lessons feature the now ubiquitous sound of President George Weah's coronavirus awareness song, in which the head of state informs listeners about the symptoms of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the pathogen, and measures to prevent its spread.
‘What makes a good distance learning programme will vary from country to country,’ said Susannah Hares, a co-director for education policy at the Center for Global Development. ‘The 'right' technology will be the one that the most people can access and already know how to use…’”
From the article:
“…U.S. President Donald Trump’s attack on the World Health Organization has stoked fears of a breakdown in international leadership and support for the multilateral system, while advocates for a strong and sustained World Bank response to the pandemic hope that the institution will be spared from those political battles.
‘The [multilateral development bank] system seems to have managed to avoid the wrath of this president, and perhaps that suggests there is more scope for them to be able to do more over time without threats for their funding being cut or otherwise impeded by political motivation,’ said Scott Morris, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, on Wednesday…”
From the op-ed in Inter-Press Service
Of course, I am not expecting the G20 suddenly, due to COVID-19 to take on an operational role. However, I would have expected that, this time, they would have acted differently: lived up to the exceptional scale and urgency of the crisis the world confronts.
For example, they could have decided to act as lead investors in a global mission-oriented project, perhaps executed, by the World Bank, in close collaboration with WHO and other multilateral development banks or other appropriate agencies, and aimed at establishing a sizeable special fund that could be used to bulk-purchase face masks (if and when available), security equipment and gowns for hospital staff, beds, medicines and, in due course, vaccines –in order to make these supplies available at affordable prices to poorer developing countries.
From the article:
“As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the U.S., claiming more than 23,600 lives as of Tuesday, the Trump administration has come under fire for disregarding guidance from past administrations on combating a pandemic and for pushing for funding cuts to some core public health programs on which the country now depends.
But the administration has also failed to meet the goals laid out in its own pandemic plan, which was developed in the first year of Trump’s presidency and released in December 2017. That plan, an update and rework of previous’ administrations’ strategies, is focused on preparing for a virulent strain of influenza rather than the novel coronavirus. That means that some flu-specific goals, such as the development of a vaccine in just a few months, can’t be applied to the current crisis. But nearly all of the objectives for preparing for and responding to emerging diseases are applicable -- from how to communicate effectively with the public to how to develop, stockpile and distribute enough respirator masks to keep health workers safe.
‘It’s a fine plan and hits a lot of the right notes,’ said Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development who led efforts on global disaster response under the Obama administration. ‘The failure was a leadership and execution failure…’”
From the op-ed:
"On April 6, there were reports of a clash between youthful traders at a temporary market and police enforcing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Kaduna, Nigeria. It left five dead with multiple sustaining gunshot wounds. This follows movement ban related shooting deaths in Rwanda, one in South Africa, the death of a teenager in Kenya and two sustaining gunshot wounds in Uganda.
These clashes will only increase and escalate if the choice remains for daily wage earners to stay at home and face inevitable starvation or venture out and face the wrath of security services. The response to the Covid-19 pandemic that has become standard in high and middle-income countries is, in its current form, unfeasible, impractical, and arguably counterproductive in low income countries, especially across sub-Saharan Africa.
These difficulties, however, do not make these social distancing measures any less necessary. We need these public health measures. Our challenge is to adapt them to informal economies which lack a comprehensive safety net to support those shut in.
Cash-driven informal sectors are a huge share of the economy of most developing countries, particularly in Africa where between 30% to 90% of all non-agricultural jobs are informal. Millions of Africans are unable to survive without some form of daily trade and don’t have the advantages of bank savings, credit cards and online commerce to be able to stay indoors or “social distance” for extended periods. Our choices, however, need not be so stark or irreconcilable. The recommendations below, which are neither exhaustive nor universally applicable, attempt to adapt social distancing to Africa’s informal economies. It is possible this disease will be with us for up to a year, and thus must be met with public policy that can be sustainably implemented over the long haul.
While the crisis is a test for underfunded health systems, it will also be an exacting examination of any state’s governance capabilities and social cohesion. It cannot be overemphasized that any country attempting to implement these adjustments must ensure eternal vigilance since relaxation could potentially lead to carelessness, causing infections to explode…”
From the article:
“…Amanda Glassman, the executive vice-president and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, said a deeper problem is the WHO’s low budget and relatively toothless structure. Unlike the nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has no redress against governments that do not cooperate.
‘It operates in countries at the pleasure and permission of the host country governments. So in the case of China, to be allowed to enter China, it was a negotiation to get there,’ Glassman said.
She added that the real challenge for the WHO has yet come, when the pandemic really hits poorer countries with fragile, underfunded health services, who rely heavily on the organisation.
Unlike the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the US will not be there to take the lead, and it will be up to the WHO to coordinate scarce resources and expertise.
‘Can they do that in 40 countries at once?’ Glassman asked. ‘That is the part that remains to be tested…’”
From the article:
“…LMICs will therefore need more funding than usual, to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, and to rebuild health systems and economies. At the same time, the pandemic could deplete the economies of LMICs, and make them more dependent on international aid. HICs, having suffered huge economic losses, could use Covid-19 as the excuse to cut development assistance for health, and recast global health as a narrow mandate focused on ‘national security’.
‘Economies worldwide will be substantially weakened, so the evolution of low-income to middle-income country status will slow down or reverse, and - even while more is needed - broader development assistance will be at risk, said Amanda Glassman, vice president and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development…’”