COVID 19 and sustainable development. Act II.

Since our last Flash info in May, several implications of the coronavirus for the development of the poorest countries have become more precise.

Two hypotheses seem to be confirmed. Firstly, the spread of the epidemic in Africa and its direct health impact are less significant than initially feared, even if social violence is already appearing in some countries due to the management of the epidemic and its consequences on lifestyles. Secondly, and above all, the impact of the global economic crisis caused by the pandemic on African economies is likely to be dramatic, with effects on African health and mortality far higher than those directly caused by the spread of the epidemic, even if the international community seems to be committed to providing significant financial support to African countries.

The publication on the FERDI website of an important document by Jean-Michel Severino accompanies this short editorial. This articleis a vigorously argued alarm in the face of the crisis threatening Africa. It underlines the risk of destruction of the basis of small and medium-sized enterprises that had been built up since the beginning of the century and was the promise of sustainable development. Jean-Michel Severino suggests ways to ward off this threat. His article is published on the FERDI website in French and in English on the website of the Center for Global Development, with whom we are pleased to cooperate on this occasion.

In my previous editorial, I suggested that because of the recession it causes and transmitted to the South where it is a source of excess mortality, North countries' policies against Covid19 by confinement has the effect of transferring to the South the excess mortality attributable to the virus that has been avoided in the North. A new FERDI policy brief presents a simple theoretical model to explain the sequence that leads to this result (soon in English). This brief is intended to be extended by further research and updated information.  

To support part of the argument and call for more research on this point, a policy brief by Sosso Feindouno examines what emerges from existing work on the impact on African mortality of a significant drop in income (soon on the FERDI's Website).

In his monthly note, which he kindly allows us to reproduce, Paul Derreumaux concretely enlightens the direct and indirect socio-economic consequences of the epidemic and the recession adds to the pre-existing domestic policy challenges in Mali. 

In the great debate that is taking shape on the future of multilateralism after Covid 19, China is no longer seen as the origin of the pandemic but as a major player in the solution that the international community is seeking to bring about. The evolution of China's policy towards African debt, in which it plays an important role, is the subject of a policy brief by Jacky Mathonnat, who also analyses the implications for China's subsequent development aid policy.

We are looking forward to seeing you on several of these issues on Tuesday 16 June at 4 p.m. for a webinar organized by FERDI for the Labex IDGM+ (FERDI, IDDRI, CERDI) on the theme "How to make the international financing of SDGs adapted to new vulnerabilities?". To deal with this issue interactively, a panel of leading international experts will be assembled, who are today at the heart of the topic. This webinar is the third in a series on "Financing the Agenda 2030 in a vulnerable world", replacing the conference that was to be held on this subject in June.

See you onTuesday


Patrick Guillaumont