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
Date Written: September 21, 2020
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: Suggested Citation