The role of global governance institutions in mitigating the adverse economic impacts of epidemics
The COVID-19 pandemic has infected over 25 million people and resulted in more than 800,000 deaths as of September 2020. The virulence and human cost of this and other epidemics in the past few decades have re-ignited policy discussions around strategies to mitigate the economic burden of infectious disease. Rising poverty, unemployment rates, worsening gender inequality and increasing vulnerability of children and marginalized groups around the world are just some of the ongoing effects of the pandemic. This policy brief uses evidence from meningitis epidemics in Africa to show that although these shocks can have significant negative effects on economic activity and child health outcomes, global governance institutions like the WHO can play an important role in mitigating these effects.