SARS-CoV-2 testing in low- and middle-income countries: availability and affordability in the private health sector

“SARS-CoV-2 testing is a major bottleneck globally, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As the public health sector struggles to meet the increasing need for tests, there is a potential role for the private health sector to expand SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity.”

via Microbes and Infection

From Overall Fiscal Space to Budgetary Space for Health: Connecting Public Financial Management to Resource Mobilization in the Era of COVID-19

“In low- and middle-income countries, 70% of budgetary space for health is driven by changes in overall public expenditure, while about 30% is directly attributable to the share of the budget allocated to health. Public financial management improvements can maximize or even enlarge budgetary space for health.”

via Center for Global Development

Is the World Bank’s COVID-19 Crisis Lending Big Enough, Fast Enough? New Evidence on Loan Disbursements

“The pace of World Bank lending appears incommensurate to the scale of the crisis: while the Bank forecasts a 4.1 percent decline in GDP growth between 2019 and 2020 in the median low- income country, World Bank disbursements in 2020 have risen by just 0.3% of GDP by comparison.”

via Center for Global Development

Changes in Energy Sector Financing During COVID-19: Lessons from the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone

“Despite the importance of the energy sector in the context of a pandemic, energy investments during and post-Ebola declined sharply.”

via Sustainable Energy for All

Africa’s Pulse: Charting the Road to Recovery

“COVID-19 could push up to 43 million people into extreme poverty in Africa, erasing at least five years of progress in fighting poverty. The road to recovery will be long, steep, and must be paved with sound economic policies.”

via World Bank

Financing needs, debt sustainability and the crystal ball

“Zambia is expected to become the SSA region’s first COVID-19-related (albeit not pandemic-originated) distressed debt exchange casualty. We see contagion risk to the broader region emanating from Zambian Eurobond holders’ rejection of the consent solicitation as moderate.”

via NKC African Economics

Despite COVID-19, food consumption remains steady in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

“Under modest movement restrictions, households have stabilized incomes and overall food consumption relative to initial, more pessimistic perceptions.”


Saudi Arabia: Thousands of Ethiopian migrants held in ‘hellish’ conditions – new investigation

“Thousands of Ethiopians expelled by neighbouring Yemen in March left to languish in disease-ridden Saudi cells Reports of dead bodies in cells, with lack of soap and water creating acute COVID risk.”

via Amnesty International

Crisis? What crisis? COVID-19 and the unexpected recovery of regional trade in East Africa

“In June, after several months of sharp declines, trade volumes recorded their biggest monthly rise on record, with a 7.6 percent increase. East Africa may be shadowing these global trends.”

via Brookings Institution

The circular economy: Including Africa in Europe’s circle

“The circular economy approach to sustainable economic development has in recent years gained traction and is now included in the European Union’s Green Deal committing the EU to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. African countries practice aspects of the circular economy without having specific policies included in their national development plans.”