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Creating a better post-pandemic economy

It is no secret that COVID-19 was the main reason for the economic regression in almost every country around the globe. Furthermore, The virus is also bound to affect global human sustainable development greatly. Many predict a grim future where hunger, poverty, and illiteracy thrive all while healthcare services decrease even in first-world countries. Moreover, an entire generation of children is currently missing out on vital and priceless education. Thus, it is crucial to look beyond our current battle with the virus and plan for a better future built on a stable economy.

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Building back the past but better

The virus didn’t only take away thousands of lives but it also exposed several hidden key vulnerabilities in our societies and economic system. It has further shown that prioritizing short-term economic growth and efficiency over long-term resilience can have a very high price.

In addition, it has exposed and rapidly exacerbated many kinds of social inequalities. Racism, sexism, and xenophobia bared their ugly teeth for all the world to see clearly. Thus, revealing the ugliest side of human nature during global emergencies. The difference in social classes became more apparent. While some people took the lockdown as some sort of a holiday, others fell into despair as they struggled to keep food on their table and a roof above their heads.

The pandemic also further proved that our current economic system is killing the environment. If we ever hope to solve urgent environmental crises such as climate change, air pollution, biodiversity loss, and poor ocean, we should rebuild better.

Debt crisis

According to a UN official, the entire world is on the doorstep of a widespread debt crisis. Thus, many countries are met with an impossible choice between servicing their debt or protecting their most vulnerable communities all while fighting the pandemic.

Moreover, debt defaults are bound to create devastating social consequences. Add to that, most countries, especially developing ones, don’t have the financial market access that ought to enable them as a means to service their debt.

Furthermore, the pandemic has not only impacted the global health sector, but the virus also hurt all the components of external finance. Such impacted components include direct investment, exports, and remittances. Thus, official development assistance falls under pressure while the countries struggle in their fight against the coronavirus.

As a semi-solution for recovery, the UN secretary-general urges countries to create fiscal space for investments as durable solutions to debt. Uncertainty, further retreating to inward-looking policies, and protectionism are doing the economy way more harm than good. Moreover, they will only serve to prolong the current period of weak external financing. Hence, countries should take a different course of action.

Creating solutions

To actually find a reliable and realistic solution, countries must hear out the insights and perspectives of all. Prominent and innovative thinking must lead the way to a better economy instead of relying on our old methods.
Countries must also use this opportunity to create gender-equal societies and to address the current climate crisis as well as other global challenges. The economic plans must be based on concrete, radical and implementable solutions.

The first step in the direction of much-need transformation

The world must rebuild but use better methods than the ones of the past. In this new global economy, finance must turn into means, not an end. Thus, external finance should walk a different path. Financial markets need to change so that the world succeeds in creating balance and achieving the SDGs.

Furthermore, the current crisis proved that investments cannot only be about profit at any cost. This transformation must be the key to breaking the inequality and environmental degradation we now suffer from.

This way of thinking might be a little bit idealistic. Though it is not unachievable. For a better tomorrow, countries must use this opportunity to rise above all these current issues that the world is facing.

References:

‘Bold and creative’ solutions are needed for a sustainable, post-pandemic. (2020, July 2). UN News. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/07/1067522

Building Back Better: A Sustainable, Resilient Recovery after COVID-19. (2020). OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19). http://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/building-back-better-a-sustainable-resilient-recovery-after-covid-19-52b869f5/

Fraser, D. (2020, May 25). Building back better. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-52795188