Issue No.343/344 (2020)

*Click on cover to download the magazine (PDF)

COVER: DOUBLE WHAMMY: Surviving COVID-19 and the economic crisis


A passionate voice of and for the South
The developing world lost a committed champion of its cause with the passing of Martin Khor on 1 April 2020. Two fellow advocates for equitable development pay heartfelt tribute below.
By Yilmaz Akyüz and Richard Kozul-Wright


Pandemic crisis: Dangers and opportunities
The current crisis should be a wake-up call for humankind to rethink its hyper-consumerist economy that prioritises growth that benefits just a tiny segment.
By Lim Mah Hui and Michael Heng

COVID-19 reveals everything
The intertwined health and economic crisis calls for urgent responses, systemic reform and ideological rethink of the international financial architecture.
By Bhumika Muchhala

South needs $2.5 trillion support package to deal with COVID-19
A $2.5 trillion support package is needed for developing countries facing unprecedented economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis, the UN Conference on Trade and Development has said.
By Kanaga Raja

Strengthening South-South cooperation to combat COVID-19
Strengthening South-South cooperation and solidarity can offer a positive route forward for developing countries in combating COVID-19 and addressing existing and new challenges, UNCTAD has said.
By Kanaga Raja

Why the attacks on WHO are a dangerous diversion
The recent criticisms of the World Health Organisation’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic were a massive distraction driven by the twin goals of the United States.
By Michael Bartos

We need strong public health care to contain the global corona pandemic
What we can learn from the global corona pandemic is that strong public health systems have the resilience to address massive health threats with the collective responses they require.
By Wim De Ceukelaire and Chiara Bodini

Latin America: Privatised health made the pandemic worse
The destruction of public health systems in many Latin American countries and the adoption of neoliberalism have left millions in that continent helpless to face the scourge of COVID-19.
By Roberto Bissio

How COVID-19 is impacting Indigenous Peoples in Brazil
While the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil have faced many serious challenges, the impacts of COVID-19 are unprecedented and terrifying. The whole health system has collapsed and their very survival is at stake.
By Edson Krenak

Vietnam winning new war against invisible enemy
Although Vietnam is a poor country, she successfully managed the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a decisive leadership.
By Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Herd immunity in Europe – are we close?
Sweden adopted a less harsh strategy to contain COVID-19 that could on paper have led to ‘herd immunity’. While initially it showed promising results, the more lenient approach proved a false alternative.
By Jeremy Rossman

International public finance and COVID-19: A new architecture is urgently needed
The current model of financing for collective public good, including fighting pandemics and intervening in financial crises, is unsustainable. A new framework for international public finance is called for.
By Celine Tan

COVID-19: Scenarios for the global monetary system
A team of researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) has developed four scenarios that show how political decisions will shape the post-corona world.
By Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies

Corporate power and States’ (in)action in response to the COVID-19 crisis
The response to the present compounded public health and economic crisis should set us on a course towards transformations in economic, social and ecological governance.
By Kinda Mohamadieh

Public spending must target inequalities, not bail out big business
States now need to invest massively in decreasing inequalities and poverty, and not just bail out large corporations, banks and investors with no human rights nor social conditions attached.
By Kanaga Raja

The future of globalization
Now that the global economy is beset by its worst crisis since the 1930s Great Depression, there will be doubts about the future of globalisation.
By Biswajit Dhar

Trade policy choices during and after the pandemic
The writer questions the wisdom of developing countries continuing World Trade Organisation talks when the pandemic is ravaging their countries and its full economic impact is not clear.
By Ranja Sengupta

Where is fair and equitable benefit sharing of medical products?
Although WHO issued a blueprint in March which linked rapid sharing of coronavirus materials and sequence information to fair and equitable sharing of resulting medical innovations, developing countries have yet to see any progress in the realisation of this blueprint.
By Sangeeta Shashikant and Edward Hammond

COVID-19 has not slowed down ecological women farmers in Peru
Undeterred by the threat posed by COVID-19, a group of 80 indigenous women in Peru are pioneering new forms of agricultural production based on agroecology which meet their food needs while also contributing to the sustainable development of their communities.
By Mariela Jara

The ‘sink’ for Indian capitalism
The village in India, with its agriculture-based economy and joint-family system, continues to remain the support base for millions of urban workers who are perennially exposed to the vicissitudes of life under capitalism.
By Prabhat Patnaik

E-commerce platforms: Corona warriors or disaster capitalists?
Prime Minister Modi’s lockdown order in March has provided giant e-commerce platforms an opportunity to penetrate the Indian economy.
By Anita Gurumurthy and Nandini Chamy

Pompeo: US knows nada
Not having any information on the precise origin of the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan has not stopped US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from joining President Trump in claiming that the virus leaked out of a laboratory there.
By Finian Cunningham

Over there is now over here
America’s pandemic role reversal
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the US has been turned into a war zone with casualties greater than from any war abroad.
By Karen J Greenberg

‘Our response to the coronavirus demonstrates how far America has careened off track’
Future historians may look back at 2020 as the year when America’s global reputation fell off a cliff.
By Stephen Kinzer

Trump hammers Cuba while Cuba cures the sick worldwide
It seems that the more Cuba helps the world, the more it gets hammered by the Trump administration.
By Medea Benjamin and Leonardo Flores


Ernesto Cardenal Martínez (1925-2020) was a Nicaraguan Catholic priest and poet. He was a liberation theologian and served as minister of culture from 1979 to 1987 under the Sandinistas.
By Ernesto Cardenal

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