Vaccinations and COVID-19 Funding for Least Developed Countries

 

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  • To navigate the pages of the dashboard, click on the page navigation at the bottom of the dashboard <  > to activate the pop-out menu. 

  • The first two pages of the dashboard shows data related to COVID-19 vaccines (at least one dose), followed by data on COVID-19 related funding by international partners and thereafter individual country profiles. 

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US$23 billion has  been  spent by international partners to support the Least  Developed  Countries in tackling COVID-19

 

Funding by international partners to tackle COVID-19

By April 2021

  • US$23 billion had been spent by international partners to support the Least Developed Countries, an increase of US$16 billion from August 2020. 
  • 28% of COVID-19 related spending for developing countries was spent on the Least Developed Countries, an increase of 7% from August 2020.

 

Vaccines

By June 2021

  • Only 1.2% of global COVID-19 vaccine doses (counted as a single dose or more) have been administered in the Least Developed Countries, despite 14% of the world’s population living there. 
     
  • In total, just 3.1% of the population in Least Developed Countries - 33 million people - have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A handful of countries have only just begun receving vaccines.
     
  • For every 1,000 people living in LDCs, just 31 have received a vaccine dose.
     
  • Less than 2% of the world’s COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Africa, which has the slowest vaccination rate of any continent, with many countries yet to start mass vaccination campaigns.

 

There is a stark gap between vaccination roll out in different countries. Several wealthy countries have secured enough doses to vaccinate their populations multiple times over. On the other hand, some of the poorest and most vulnerable countries including those which are least developed, landlocked and small islands have yet to administer a single vaccine dose. LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS are primarily relying on the COVAX vaccine sharing arrangement to provide two billion doses by the end of 2021.

Health

There are on average only 113 hospital beds per 100,000 inhabitants in LDCs, less than half the number in other developing countries and around 80 per cent below developed countries. This leaves them dangerously unprepared for a COVID-19 spike. 

Many LDCs struggle to spend above 5% of their GDP on health. The support provided by the international community is critical to plug any shortfalls in national budgets. 

The capacity of LDCs to respond proportionately to major crises is highly limited. They thus need greater international support to weather the impacts of a crisis and be able to recover effectively. 

For instance, Zambia is able to allocate just 4.5% of its GDP to health and received COVID-19 support equivalent to just US$6.49 per person. This falls short of what is required to address the immense health needs of that country. For its part, the United States is in a position to spend USD$4,467.20 per person alongside a health budget of 17% of GDP.  

The limited ability of LDCs to mobilise financial resources and low spending power to tackle major crises is a huge disadvantage with the potential to delay their recoveries by years. 

Debt

The COVID-19 health crisis is turning into a protracted debt crisis for many LDCs, where debt risks were already high prior to the pandemic.   

In 2020, the world’s gross domestic product is expected to drop by  4.9 per cent, foreign direct investment will fall by  40 per cent, and remittances by  20 per cent.  

Advanced economies are implementing unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy responses to address the crisis but the policy responses in LDCs have been weaker in large part due to debts obligations and plunging foreign exchange revenue.   

The global decline in demand for goods is heavily impacting LDCs that are dependent on exporting manufactured goods, particularly clothing and apparel. Six LDCs – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, the Gambia, Nepal and Lesotho – receive more than 50 per cent of their export revenue from exporting manufactured goods. 

Markets in Turmoil

Not withstanding the health impacts of COVID-19, with commodity markets in turmoil, the pandemic presents a major economic crisis for LDCs. Oil, minerals, food and other commodities account for more than 70 per cent of the merchandise exports from LDCs. 

The global demand and supply-side shocks arising from the impact of COVID-19, are also heavily impacting LDCs that are dependent on exporting manufactured goods, particularly clothing and apparel. Six LDCs – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, the Gambia, Nepal and Lesotho – receive more than 50 per cent of their export revenue from exporting manufactured goods. The contraction in exports will likely lead to current account deficits.  

Remittances

The pandemic is likely to severely shrink remittance inflows as migrant workers face large scale job losses and are forced to return to their home countries. Remittances to LDCs are projected to fall by more than 20 per cent, representing a loss of a crucial financing lifeline for many vulnerable households. 

A recent World Bank report says remittances to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent to $445 billion, representing a loss of a crucial financing lifeline for many vulnerable households. 

 

 

Hunger

Hunger also remains a critical challenge and has further deteriorated as a result of COVID-19. Any decline in external demand will disproportionately hurt poor households employed in labor intensive manufacturing and agriculture sectors, which will further undermine their efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve SDG 1. 

The icon of the lightbulb How to use the dashboard? 
  • To navigate the pages of the dashboard, click on the page navigation at the bottom of the dashboard <  > to activate the pop-out menu. 
  • The first four pages of the dashboard shows data related to the country group and thereafter the individual country profiles. 
  • The dashboard can be shared using the social media icons on the bottom right-hand corner of the dashboard. 
  • To view the dashboard in full screen mode, click the double arrow at the bottom right-hand corner of the dashboard.