2020 Goalkeepers Report: COVID-19 - A Global Perspective

The point of the report is to track (and promote) progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, and the big thing standing in the way of that progress right now is the pandemic. People living just above the extreme poverty line who have fallen below it because of COVID-19 were obviously vulnerable despite not being officially poor. In the short term, social-protection payments and emergency business loans—exactly the types of programs being used in high-income countries—can keep people from becoming extremely poor or help the poor avoid destitution. Targeting those programs to women makes a difference, because women direct more income toward investments in their families, which leads to durable prosperity. Due to the COVID-19 economic crisis, local food markets are less busy and consumers have less money to buy food, which means small-scale farmers are selling and earning less. This is on top of climate stresses that have been getting worse in recent years as well as this year’s locust infestation in East Africa, both of which threaten their livelihoods. Indirectly, COVID will cause more women than men to suffer and die, in large part because the pandemic has disrupted health care before, during, and immediately after childbirth. Preventable, treatable complications such as severe bleeding, infection, and high blood pressure cause the vast majority of maternal deaths. Many health care workers who used to manage these emergencies, including experienced nurse-midwives, are being diverted to COVID wards.