For the poorest countries, the full danger from coronavirus is only just coming into view

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Three months after the outbreak began, it is easy to see the COVID-19 pandemic for what it is: A human tragedy that constitutes the most severe blow to the global economy since the Second World War. It has swiftly overwhelmed the health systems of all nations—developed and developing—producing social and economic impacts that will be unprecedented in scale.

For the poorest countries, however, the full danger is only just coming into view. They will face the crisis from a position of profound disadvantage: Their health systems are fragile, their access to critical medical supplies is tenuous, their economies are less resilient and heavily dependent on trade.

They could soon come under siege on all fronts—and a health, economic, and social catastrophe here would be felt across the world. It would fan the spread of the virus and imperil prospects for a global economic recovery.

Photo credit: Melting Spot/Shutterstock

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