The COVID-19 pandemic is not simply a global health disaster. Its socioeconomic impacts on poor communities and vulnerable countries may hinder recent progress in development. This week’s press review highlights these impacts around the globe.
In South American indigenous communities, the COVID-19 virus is taken very seriously. As memories of past decimating diseases resurface, groups blockade villages and retreat in traditional forest and mountain homes to wait out the storm.
“ 'Coronavirus could wipe us out': indigenous South Americans blockade villages ” , The Guardian, March 30, 2020
In Brazil, COVID-19 is gradually climbing down the social ladder. Wealthy Brazilians brought back the virus from their travels, and are now passing it on to poorer individuals with limited access to care and protection.
“ Coronavirus in South America: how it became a class issue ” , BBC, March 24, 2020
Health is also a matter of communication. As coronavirus reaches low-income countries, health agencies struggle to translate potentially lifesaving health information and instructions into different dialects around the world.
“ How do you say ‘social distancing’ in Swahili? ” , Devex, March 30, 2020
In war-torn countries such as Burkina Faso, the COVID-19 pandemic could have devastating effects if it reaches refugee camps. In 2019, 700,000 Burkinabe have been internally displaced and are now living in dire conditions.
“ In West African coronavirus hotspot, war has left 700,000 homeless and exposed ” , The Intercept, March 26, 2020
In Myanmar, Chinese-owned factories have already been closed a few weeks, leaving an already vulnerable population with no safety net. As the COVID-19 virus starts to spread across the country, its fragile health care system will not be able to take the hit.
“ The Virus Is Coming to Myanmar, but the Pain Has Already Begun ” , The New York Times, March 27, 2020
About this publication
Discover each month on ID4D the “Development News”, with a brief overview of a topical issue, and the “Press review”, with a selection of web articles, reflections and analyses.