As the coronavirus pandemic puts an accent on the geopolitical dynamics among powerful states, China has stepped up its support to Africa’s fight against the virus – arguably not only out of magnanimity. Although China’s assistance is very welcome on the continent at the moment, more is on its way to test China-Africa relations, such as negotiations on debt relief.
The pandemic offers an opportunity to shape climate-friendly recovery packages that both boost shorter-term job creation and incomes, and generate long-term sustainability benefits. Polling shows large popular support for recovery packages to prioritise climate change.
European governments and citizens cannot allow the COVID-19 emergency to (re)determine our identity and interests, erecting national barriers or trade wars. The crisis can bring us together or tear us apart, but the ultimate responsibility will rest on people, the leaders and citizens of Europe, who can determine how we will emerge from this pandemic and redefine what it means to be “European”.
Europeans are incredibly lucky to largely not know what it feels like to fear for their lives due to war and violence. Yet suddenly, communities in Europe share characteristics with people who live in countries with violent conflict: coronavirus makes lives precarious and incomes unstable. It shows what it’s like when public services are underfunded, unreliable and insufficient.
The corona crisis has grave consequences for health, the economy and society. Pandemics such as COVID-19, Ebola and cholera will return repeatedly unless we understand what causes them. New infectious diseases in humans are often unleashed by viruses and bacteria in wild animals. The destruction of undisturbed ecosystems brings humans into closer contact with animal species that could transmit hitherto unknown pathogens. Consequently, the only way to successfully prevent localised epidemics and continental pandemics is to view human, animal and environmental health as one unit, as it is in the One Health concept.
To improve gender justice, ODI’s experts explore multiple dimensions of gender and Covid-19 concerns to better understand the gendered impacts of the threat and embed gender concerns into every aspect of the response.
The experts discuss gender, Covid-19, and issues of leadership and intimate partner violence. They also cover women’s economic empowerment and security, education, health and social protection. Finally, they share ODI’s latest thinking on issues around youth and data, conflict and humanitarian contexts and learning from history.
The international community bears joint responsibility for the world’s poorest countries during this pandemic. For this reason, both temporary, immediate liquidity support and long-term measures that address the root causes of indebtedness are important in order to enable these countries to prevent a financial catastrophe on top of a humanitarian one.
The measures taken to fight the Covid-19 pandemic are changing our daily lives. Many see this as an opportunity to initiate more sustainable behaviours, and even hope that this experience of imposed sobriety will be transformed into a real awareness in favour of more virtuous lifestyles for the environment.
The European project was built on the ashes of two world wars. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the most devastating pandemic afflicting humankind in the last century, may be its undoing. Or can it become the catalyst for building a stronger European Union for the future? The jury is still out.
COVID-19 can be a turning point towards building more resilient and sustainable societies. At this moment, global and national economies have come to an abrupt standstill. Suddenly, economic growth is not sacred anymore. To protect the weakest members of our societies, we are willing to make enormous sacrifices. Reconciling other values with economic growth is also needed if we want to meet the sustainable development goals on achieving zero hunger and greater environmental sustainability.