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Humanitarian crises monitoring: coronavirus in developing countries: secondary impacts


Report and Government response published

Within its report, the IDC warned the secondary impacts – ranging from non-covid healthcare to hunger, and crippling international debt to gender quality – could be more severe than the virus itself to countries in the Global South. The IDC found widespread disruptions to routine vaccination programmes, rising unemployment leading to fears of accessing food and lockdowns resulting in increased gender-based violence.  Given the scale of the secondary impacts of covid-19 to many of the world’s most vulnerable, the IDC was disappointed that the Government rejected its recommendation to publish a covid-19 strategy, suggesting that existing policy documents such as the Integrated Review covers these issues.

The Government also dismissed the necessity for a cross-departmental, multi-year Global Health Strategy, despite the IDC hearing evidence that 70% of countries reported that their routine immunisation programmes were all stalling due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. During an evidence session last week, the IDC was told that hospitals in Yemen are being forced to prioritise patients more likely to survive illness in ICU due to the limited resources in being able to treat all those in need.

Although the IDC was encouraged to see that, within their response, the Government is open to reviewing debt cancellation of low-income countries, the IDC remains concerned as this would be considered on a case-by-case basis and in coordination with multilateral organisations.

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