People wearing masks in São Paulo (AP)

People wearing masks in São Paulo. (AP)


Latin America Has a COVID-19 Cash Gap

By William R. Rhodes

"Many of the region’s nations continue to face large funding gaps," co-writes AS/COA Chairman Emeritus William R. Rhodes for Reuters Breakingviews.

Latin America’s Covid-19 crisis demands a more ambitious response from governments and the international community. The pandemic is shining a light on underlying economic vulnerabilities that have hindered the region’s efforts to contain the disease. Without additional funding, the eventual recovery may also suffer.

The region’s five largest economies combined – namely, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina – registered 7.7 million cases of Covid-19 and hundreds of thousands of deaths, as of September 28. With fragmented and unequal health systems, many have struggled to follow the rigorous guidelines for testing, tracing, information release and treatment suggested by groups like the World Health Organization.

Governments have therefore been forced to seek financing from development institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development bank. While there is financing available for countries in need, much of it has been funneled through global programs, for which Latin American countries are often ineligible…

Read the full article.