News Outlets Examine French Aid’s, German Leader’s Responses To COVID-19 Pandemic

Devex: Loans for social protection could be a ‘game-changer’ for France’s COVID-19 aid
“The French development agency is seeing rising demand for social protection support as countries try to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. But the Agence Française de Développement had not foreseen this at the beginning of the outbreak, Christophe Paquet, head of the health and social protection unit at the AFD, told Devex. He said AFD has received requests for this type of support — which comes in the form of sovereign loans — from countries such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Dominican Republic. … AFD has also increased its support for health amid the pandemic. In April, it launched the Health in Common initiative, which consists of €150 million in grants and €1 billion in concessional loans, to help countries’ response…” (Ravelo/Chadwick, 6/10).

Reuters: For virus-tamer Merkel, global alliances trumped nationalism
“…[A September 2019] Wuhan visit helped shape [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel’s response to COVID-19, three people close to the chancellor told Reuters. … Merkel saw at first hand a major thoroughfare and busy hub of China’s industrial power. If the disease was serious enough to force a metropolis of 11 million people to quarantine itself and come to a complete stop, people close to her said, she saw it must be serious. Merkel — unlike leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Donald Trump — supported a quick lockdown and widespread testing. These are two elements that have been widely credited by epidemiologists for keeping Germany’s reported fatalities lower than many countries, especially outside Asia…” (Rinke et al., 6/10).

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