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EJS Center board member Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala highlights how COVID-19 could spark investment in local production

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented disruption globally. Organizations in the health sector and beyond find their work complicated by challenges and financial stress like never before.

In the light of the present challenges and those to come, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, EJS Center board member, and chair of the board at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, recently spoke to Devex, sharing how she believes global economic priorities will change in the wake of COVID-19.

The feature asked 21 global experts to share insights on how coronavirus will impact a variety of sectors, including public health, finance, and diplomacy.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala highlighted the urgent need for countries to be able to access the medical equipment needed to combat the pandemic, noting that this could lead to a surge in local production.

“It is clear that the outcry in virtually every country about the lack of equipment and supplies to test for and protect against COVID-19 will lead countries to reexamine their supply chains for critical health and livelihood related products. This will lead to a surge of nationalism with respect to the need to produce pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and equipment domestically. Even countries that traditionally had no capability in these areas will seek to develop the same.”

She also had a positive prediction for the future of investment into preventing disease:

The realization that the economic costs of a pandemic can be huge, far surpassing investments in research and prevention, will lead to billions more dollars of investment in research, vaccines, therapeutics, and non-medical methods of prevention. This will mean that trillions of dollars in economic losses, loss of life, and loss of livelihoods for millions of poor people all over the world will be averted.”

Read the full article here.

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