By Mauricio Rosillo, Corporate Vice president, Grupo Bancolombia
This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide.
This blog is also a part of a thread looking more specifically at the role of private sector actors in responding to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in developing countries.
COVID-19 is plunging the world economy in the most severe crisis of recent times and threatens hard-won gains in terms of poverty reduction, food security and economic empowerment. What can the private sector, and in particular the financial sector, do to protect and advance sustainable development and well-being for all?
Governments, companies and citizens must quickly adapt to shoulder this unprecedented situation. This is particularly the case in emerging and developing economies where socio-economic vulnerabilities are higher and state capacity is sometimes low. Consequently, support from other socio-economic actors, notably large firms, is even more necessary.
The immediate priority is to protect people’s health and income. This crisis, together with public health measures such as social distancing and restrictions to mobility, is changing daily routines for workers and firms and reducing their ability to generate income. Latin American economies are not immune to these effects. The high levels of informality and vulnerable Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) make the policy responses more complex. Coordination and coherence across different actors is fundamental to halt the pandemic, minimise the negative socio-economic consequences and put the economy on a strong and sustainable development path. Continue reading