The world is six months into the worst pandemic crisis in one hundred years. By mid-April 2020, more than 80 percent of countries had imposed strict containment and mitigation measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. The economic fallout from the pandemic has been immense, with dire consequences for poverty and welfare. With more limited resources and capabilities but also younger populations, developing countries face different trade-offs in their fight against COVID-19 than developed countries do. This calls for different strategies—more targeted, self-enforcing, and cost-effective—to reduce the rate of infection. Facing different trade-offs, however, is no excuse for complacency. Lives and livelihoods can be saved with economic and public health policies that are tailored to the reality of developing countries.
The goal of this seminar is to explore the economic and social costs of the pandemic and measures to contain it. Panelists will discuss why alternatives to indiscriminate lockdowns are needed in developing countries and what these “smart” alternatives may consist of. The lockdowns may be easing, but the fight against the pandemic is likely to last for months, if not years. Coordinated and sustainable public health and economic policies are needed before the economy can begin to recover.
Aart Kraay, Director of Research, World Bank
Costs and Trade-Offs in the Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Developing Country Perspective
Titan Alon, University of California, San Diego (Speaker)