The G7 can afford to vaccinate the globe, end this pandemic, and stop poverty rising
But so far, they have done far too little to make a difference.
Mark Miller, Director of Development and Public Finance at the Overseas Development Institute, speaks to the Politics JaM Podcast about what G7 should be doing to end this pandemic, the domestic politics of aid in advanced democracies, and the impact aid has in developing nations
June 8, 2020 (London) – By spending just $13bn more (0.03% of their GDP), the G7 could end this pandemic by vaccinating people in low-income nations. So far, however, the G7’s response has fell disappointingly short. The G7 leaders should act this week to end this pandemic for their own citizens and the world.
Low-income governments, which spend only $8-10 per person on healthcare, cannot afford to vaccinate their own citizens. COVID-19 has also led to 100 million more falling into extreme poverty. But the G7 has so far spent little extra in aid while the world faces a humanitarian crisis.
Mark Miller said that, “Internationally, the response has been poor. The G7 summit is a bit of an opportunity to reset some of that and for the G7 nations to show some leadership”.
The domestic politics of aid expenditure is partly to blame for the G7’s lacklustre response. In the UK, politicians have so far not told a convincing story about why we should be spending more on aid.
This is disappointing as aid is at its most effective during humanitarian crises such as COVID-19. Aid, can, however, also harm political development in fragile states and is not the panacea for ending poverty.