No winners but fewer losers in the global COVID economy than expected |


According to the trade and development organization UNCTAD, the world economy recorded its largest annual drop in production since records began to be aggregated in the 1940s, “with no region spared.”

“Multilateralism has essentially lost its mojo,” said Richard Kozul-Wright, head of the Globalization and Development Strategies Division at UNCTAD, in a year that saw an estimated 3.9% decline of global production – 0.4% better than forecast for mid-2020 – this is largely due to better performance in China and the United States.

“ Weak ” support for the poorest

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, the UN economist argued that the debt relief initiatives for poorer countries expected by the group of advanced economies of the G20 had been “extremely weak” at a time when developing countries feared losing much needed foreign direct investment.

Efforts to organize a fair and equitable COVID-19[feminine le déploiement du vaccin a également montré «de graves faiblesses dans l’architecture de la santé mondiale», a affirmé M. Kozul-Wright, alors que la première année du coronavirus La crise a vu «la destruction des revenus à une échelle sans précédent, estimée à 5,8 billions de dollars, et les franges déjà vulnérables de la population en faisant les frais», selon le rapport de la CNUCED sur le commerce et le développement.

Concrètement, la crise des coronavirus a provoqué une perte effective de 255 millions d’emplois à temps plein dans le monde, selon l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIT), cité par la CNUCED.

La deuxième vague fait un bond en avant

Bien que la reprise économique mondiale ait commencé au troisième trimestre, alors que les pays commençaient à lever les restrictions, la CNUCED a noté qu’une deuxième vague de virus a frappé plus tôt que prévu au dernier trimestre de 2020, ce qui a freiné la reprise, notamment en Europe occidentale.

Pour contrer cette pression à la baisse sur la croissance, des percées en matière de vaccins et une meilleure gestion des mesures de verrouillage ont été compensées, toutes deux compensant l’impact économique global du COVID-19, selon le rapport de l’ONU.

Latin American resilience

Regionally, UNCTAD data indicates that East Asia and Latin America have done “a little better than expected” – probably supported by Brazilian growth – but that Europe, India and South Africa did less well.

The “positive surprises” were Brazil, Turkey and the United States, thanks to significant relief measures which acted as a shock absorber of the recession, while the rise in prices of raw materials and assets stimulated the growth.

The rebound in commodity prices has also benefited ‘several’ African developing economies, UNCTAD continued, as the region as a whole faced lower than expected pressure on public health systems from COVID-19. , said UNCTAD.

Food insecurity issues

The United Nations body has nevertheless expressed concerns that greater volatility could appear, in particular in the markets for certain agricultural products, with a threat to food security in several countries.

He also noted that the global growth losses “will persist, as even the most optimistic projections for the rebound in growth will not cover the shortfall for several years.”

For 2021, UNCTAD announced global growth of 4.7%, 0.6% more than its forecast prior to mid-2020.

But this “more optimistic scenario” depends on international support for three things, insisted UNCTAD: “improving immunization and disease containment in advanced and middle-income countries, rapid transition from economic relief policies to recovery policies in the world’s largest economies. ; and no financial crash of global significance ”.

Listen to our interview with Richard Kozul-Wright almost a year ago, on what was needed to deal with the pandemic:

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