Coronavirus: Living with COVID-19 around the world

Is the coronavirus pandemic a trigger for change? In the latest issue of the GIZ magazine akzente, we look at how the crisis is affecting developing countries and emerging economies.

People all over the world have been living in the grip of the pandemic for nearly a year. In terms of its impact on our health, the economic and social damage, it affects all of us, though not in equal measure. In this issue of akzente, we’re focusing on the situation in developing countries and emerging economies, exploring above all how they are coping with the challenges created by the pandemic. For instance in Colombia, where the crisis has triggered a chain reaction, exacerbating existing social and environmental conflicts. 

We also venture into the future and consider, for example, how a vaccine may be distributed. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, has called for a globally equitable roll-out. In an interview with akzente, he stresses the importance of rapidly protecting vulnerable groups in all countries rather than pursuing national self-interest. Peru’s Vice Environment Minister, Gabriel Quijandría Acosta, believes the crisis can help to put our economies on a more sustainable footing. Such a transformation is not only long overdue, he asserts, but crucial to our survival. 

In their essay, South African researchers Elizabeth Sidiropoulos and Steven Gruzd examine what positive long-term impacts the pandemic may have. They see opportunities in the post-coronavirus world for African countries to finally shake off their role as mere suppliers of raw materials. 

The new issue also looks at the use of digital tools in agriculture, with reports from Serbia and Benin. Specially designed farming apps and solar energy installations are helping to boost productivity, protect jobs, cut emissions and maintain supplies in an impressive show of pandemic resilience.

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