LMICs Face Slowing Economies, Debt Crises, Health Care Systems Unable To Keep Pace Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Devex: Why lockdowns aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution to the pandemic
“While countries in the global north were sluggish in responding to the coronavirus, governments in many lower-income countries were much faster to enact lockdowns. … But questions have equally been raised by some public health experts over the suitability of nationwide lockdowns in areas with weak health systems and fragile economies, where the possibility of working from home doesn’t exist for most people…” (Worley, 6/2).

New York Times: Poor Countries Face a Debt Crisis ‘Unlike Anything We Have Seen’
“From Angola to Jamaica to Ecuador to Zambia, the world’s poor countries have had their finances shredded by the global pandemic. … The low interest rates of the past decade led to an unlikely alliance between poor countries and international investors. … Now, the pandemic is fraying that alliance. Economic activity has ground to a halt, closing ports, shutting factories, canceling flights, and emptying resorts. Governments are on the hook for billions of dollars in interest and principal repayments — payments suddenly made more expensive by volatility in the currency markets at the same time that public health costs are skyrocketing. And their investors are not in a forgiving mood…” (Walsh/Phillips, 6/1).

WIRED: Cities in Poorer Countries Are at Risk as Covid-19 Spreads
“COVID-19 is spreading quickly in the global south, posing particular problems in rapidly growing cities. … According to the U.N., Covid-19 could reverse a decade of efforts to reduce global poverty. The health systems in these countries already were overstretched and underfunded, making pandemic response more difficult…” (Halais, 6/1).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KFF | twitter.com/kff

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.