One Million or One Hundred Million Casualties? – The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on the Least Developed and Developing Countries

University of Luxembourg, Law Working Paper Series, 2020-008

66 Pages Posted: 10 May 2020 Last revised: 5 Oct 2020

See all articles by Dirk A. Zetzsche

Dirk A. Zetzsche

Universite du Luxembourg - Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance; Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Center for Business & Corporate Law (CBC)

Roberta Consiglio

University of Luxembourg, ADA Chair in Financial Law (inclusive finance)

Date Written: September 21, 2020

Abstract

This paper argues that the overall impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the least developed and developing countries is massive, with a potentially very high number of casualties: we float an entirely arbitrary figure of 100 million. To arrive at this number, we collect and collate the different ways in which COVID-19 may hit developing countries from a public health perspective as well as economically, and show that the crisis may not only threaten many people’s lives but may even reverse the positive development trend of the last 20 years, putting the realization of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in some doubt. Furthermore, we propose five policy measures to mitigate the most severe impacts of the crisis on low- and middle-income countries.

The paper is structured as follows: Part I provides the context. Part II argues that the number of Corona cases and casualties in the least developed and developing countries is almost certainly underestimated and understated; Part III lays out the indirect severe impacts of the crisis, namely the inevitable return of hunger and famine to many parts of the world; Part IV suggests that the abandonment of the UN’s SDGs is one likely effect of the crisis in the absence of coordinated efforts; and Part V presents five policy principles designed to repel the looming human tragedy. Part VI concludes.

Keywords: COVID-19, SDGs; Sustainable Development; Development Policy; World; Least Developed, Developing Countries

JEL Classification: O20, O10, O19, O38, K29, I18, I30, G38

Suggested Citation

Zetzsche, Dirk Andreas and Consiglio, Roberta, One Million or One Hundred Million Casualties? – The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on the Least Developed and Developing Countries (September 21, 2020). University of Luxembourg, Law Working Paper Series, 2020-008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3597657 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3597657

Dirk Andreas Zetzsche (Contact Author)

Universite du Luxembourg - Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance ( email )

Luxembourg, L-1511
Luxembourg

HOME PAGE: http://wwwen.uni.lu/recherche/fdef/research_unit_in_law/equipe/dirk_andreas_zetzsche

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Center for Business & Corporate Law (CBC) ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 1
D-40225 Düsseldorf
Germany
+49 211 81 15084 (Phone)
+49 211 81 11427 (Fax)

Roberta Consiglio

University of Luxembourg, ADA Chair in Financial Law (inclusive finance) ( email )

4, rue Alphonse Weicker L-2721 Luxembourg
Luxembourg, L-1511
Luxembourg

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