The recent global pandemic has been called a disaster for the global health system. It has also affected the health-care delivery and care workers, putting lives at risk. In an effort to contain the spread of the disease, several international […]
The recent global pandemic has been called a disaster for the global health system. It has also affected the health-care delivery and care workers, putting lives at risk. In an effort to contain the spread of the disease, several international health organizations have developed contingency plans. However, what has been missed by the WHO and other organizations involved in the management of the pandemic is the potential negative impact on development, trade and infrastructure. This article examines the impact of the pandemic on development and trade.
In a paper published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of AIDS Organisations (UNAIDS), and the World Health Statistics Agency (WHS) projected the impact of the pandemic on development and trade. They examined the current trends in international trade and development. They concluded that the pandemic, combined with other factors such as the lack of preparedness, poor hygiene and transportation of infected animals, resulted in a slowdown in the previous two decades in overall growth of countries. The report, Impact of the Pandemic on Development and Trade, said that the recent pandemic had sped up past current trends in global trade, infrastructure and investment, but its impact has been tilted towards the most affected, both inside and outside countries.
The analysis looked at six economies – China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa and USA. The study found that all these economies have slowed down growth over the past two years. In India, the slowdown was led by lower trade flows, higher imports and exports, less foreign direct investment (FDI) and less foreign employment. In Pakistan, the slowdown was led by lower FDI, lower imports and exports, lower domestic consumption, higher unemployment, and higher net foreign outgoings. In the Philippines, the slow down was mainly due to damage to infrastructure, increase in imports and exports, the decline in private sector growth and increase in unemployment.
In the analysis of impacts of the pandemics on development, there is a need to focus on the ways in which pandemics can affect the different aspects of development. Firstly, the impact of the pandemic could reduce investment in health and infrastructure, resulting in a reduction in overall quality of life. Secondly, the reduced investment in infrastructure may result in slower economic growth. Thirdly, the impact of the pandemic on development can also impact the type of goods and services available, which in turn will have an impact on the quality of life of the people.
On the one hand, a slower pace of economic growth will reduce the ability of individuals and households to purchase new products, goods and services that are essential for sustaining their standard of living. This will reduce employment and reduce the scope for external financing for the purchase of imported items. On the other hand, increased availability of imported items, at affordable prices, will be helpful for ensuring a level of consumption and accumulation of savings, which will eventually lead to improved efficiency and less reliance on external financing sources for economic growth.
The above concerns are relevant for analyzing the impact of the pandemic on development. However, there are many more issues related to the impact of the pandemic on development, which need to be addressed on a more comprehensive basis. The recent financial crisis is just one example of how the pandemics can have a negative impact on development. There is a need to address these issues in greater detail in the future.