Malaysiakini
OPINIONS

COMMENT | Paltry support for spending needs sets south further back

Anis Chowdhury & Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Published
Modified 8 Jun 2021, 8:09 am

COMMENT | With the pandemic setting back past, modest and uneven progress, huge disparities in containing Covid-19 and financing government efforts are widening the North-South gap and other inequalities once again.

Developing country pandemic

Developing countries are struggling to cope with their generally feeble health systems. These had been weakened by funding cuts and privatisation policies prescribed by both Bretton Woods institutions (BWIs): the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 has become a “developing-country pandemic”.

Developing countries – especially lower-middle-income countries (MICs) and low-income countries (LICs) unable to afford diagnostic tests, personal protective and other equipment, medical treatments and vaccines – now account for much more and still fast-rising shares of worldwide deaths and infections.

With grossly uneven vaccination, death and infection rates in high-income countries (HICs) have dropped as LIC and MIC (LMIC) shares have spiked. The Economist estimates much higher mortality rates in developing countries than suggested by official data: 12 times more in LMICs, and 35 times greater in LICs!...

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