In North America and Europe, it has become abundantly clear that Covid-19 and the lockdowns that followed have devastated society. In the United States, unemployment is through the roof and 2020 saw the largest economic contraction in modern history. Social and cultural depression continue to weigh down society as restaurants close, the arts are stunted, and everything that it means to be human is taken from us.
We have plenty of data to paint a picture of the devastation in countries like the United States but there has been little analysis done in developing countries, more than likely due to lack of infrastructure. We know that many developing countries closed their economies in response to Covid-19 but we are unsure of how they fared.
In particular, developing countries likely do not have the same support structures be it private or public as countries like the United States do. They cannot simply print trillions of dollars to finance quantitative easing policies to prop up the stock market or send stimulus checks to ailing citizens. They also likely lack the private safety nets created by nonprofits and the general flexibility of an advanced business sector. One can only imagine the damage economic depression would bring upon such communities.
That was until a team of researchers published a study with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The study provides a glimpse into the extent of the damage caused by the economic contraction in Africa, Asia, and South America. It details how living standards have fallen due to decreased access to basic needs such as food, unemployment, and the likely long-term consequences that will arise. Much like how in the United States there has been a noted correlation between economic shocks and decreases in life expectancies, we can expect similar if not worse consequences in developing countries.- READ MORE
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