Poorest, most vulnerable countries likely to be hit hardest from coronavirus

Democratic Republic of Congo. World Health Organisation.World Bank Group teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis. In this piece, President David Malpass highlights the progress the Bank Group has made in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: The World Bank’s Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, Mari Pangestu, shares her thoughts on how the world’s poorest will face the pandemic. The fight against COVID-19 requires concerted international effort, she wrote. “Going it alone will hurt the poorest and most vulnerable countries.”

Honoring World Health Day: As this crisis unravels, let’s not forget the nurses on the front lines of the response that are going above and beyond to keep health systems functional.

A look back for Africa: As COVID-19 (coronavirus) enters Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa countries are looking to tough lessons learned from the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

The food angle: Countries must adopt the right policies and programs to keep food systems delivering vital services every day, everywhere, even in times of crisis. These three imperatives are needed to keep food moving in a time of fear and confusion.

Keep them flowing: For poor countries and regions remittances are the most important buffer for unexpected life expenses and investments into a better future. A faster adoption of digital financial services should be a priority.

Better “prepared” than sorry: Disasters triggered by natural hazards can strike at a moment’s notice. The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) fits into this category.

Financing the response: Governments all over the world are undertaking emergency financing measures to support their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Is cutting public sector wages a fair solution?

On a global scale: India is now under nationwide lockdown and other South Asian countries are implementing social-distancing measures to help fight back against this pandemic. In the Middle East and North Africa, it’s about building on seven decades of partnership with the people of the region and valuing human solidarity. For Latin America and the Caribbean, it’s facing both the pandemic and the resulting economic consequences: the health gaps—and needs—but also detriments to family income, employment, and food security.

Go deeper: Learn how the World Bank Group is responding to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Bookmark and come back for updates!