Policy Brief | Until Everyone is Safe: An analysis of COVID-19 gaps and opportunities for the U.S. Government
Ending the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing the long-term secondary and tertiary impacts of the disease will require global commitment. As UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed noted, “No one will ever be truly safe until everyone is safe.”
COVID-19 has caused significant backsliding across several, if not most, of the key human development indicators, requiring additional targeted funding to prevent further backsliding, recovery from current trends, and to build resilience to future crises. While treatment and vaccination for COVID-19 is an essential first step, funding to address secondary and tertiary impacts of the pandemic as quickly and robustly as possible will be equally as important to stave off further degradation, and to begin to reverse the damage the pandemic has wrought.
The U.S.’ $10.8 billion funding to address the urgent and pressing needs of the most poor and vulnerable around the world, brought about by COVID-19 will be an important part of meeting the needs of the most poor and vulnerable. While the funding will only be the start of turning back the estimated 25 years of lost development gains, we offer the following recommendations for how to address the needs of the most poor and vulnerable in this and future spending through US agencies.
- Promote equitable vaccine distribution and provide robust support to frontline healthcare workers and healthcare systems.
- Bolster humanitarian assistance, including immediate food assistance and protection for those most in need.
- Address secondary impacts of COVID-19, through recovery and resilience activities.
- Protect the most vulnerable, address psycho-social needs and social cohesion.
- Leverage new US development finance capacities in the long-term response.
Each dollar that goes to addressing the immense human toll from COVID-19 is precious and will need to be effectively and efficiently utilized. We make the following recommendations for how to optimize the funding to best address the complexities that exist in each country and community.
- Fund local actors to carry out COVID-19 response and meet the needs of local communities.
- Ensure quick and flexible funding.
- Funding should be directed by proactive, innovative, and data-informed decision making.
- Funding should be global-minded, coordinated, and integrated.
For sector specific recommendations, as well as full general recommendations, please see the full paper.