2021•10•06 Kuala Lumpur
This piece highlights the contribution of UNU-IIGH to COVID-19 policy and evidence generation as co-chair of the Taskforce on Global Health and Covid-19 for T20 and co-author of three T20 policy briefs on Equity, Gender, Schools and Education. T20 is an idea bank to G20, which connects top research institutions and think tanks, and gathers research-based policy recommendations for consideration by the G20 representatives. The task force is culminating this year’s work with the T20 Summit held on October 4-6.
Covid-19 has disrupted and potentially reversed the progress towards global health equity. The vulnerable groups and marginalised populations including girls, women, children, and adolescents have been disproportionately disadvantaged from the unprecedented global shock posed by this pandemic.To advocate for global health equity in pandemic preparedness, response and recovery, UNU-IIGH and UNU CRIS published policy briefs on the challenges of Covid-19 and proposed recommendations for framework redesign.
School closures have irrevocably led to immediate repercussions, leaving scarring effects on adolescents and children, from physical and mental health to their lifetime earnings and employment. Compounded by the perpetuating unequal gender norms, girls are at high risk of permanently dropping out from schools, adolescent pregnancies, child marriages and physical and sexual violence and abuse. Of all, the marginalised and the poorest are enduring the most significant impact from this health threat. In response to the social and economic inequality consequences of school closure during the pandemic, the policy brief proposes to:
The pre-existing gender-related structural inequalities and barriers in women’s healthcare access are amplified and exacerbated by this pandemic. From undermining women’s health needs and autonomy to make decisions, the effort to incorporate a gender equity lens in structural and policy reforms have been limited. Therefore, the policy brief recommends to:
“Taking a truly global view of health equity requires us to consider the inequitable distribution of health not only across countries, but also within countries, regions, cities and neighbourhoods.” Likewise, it is essential to understand the foundational causes of health and the inequitable distribution of resources. With a vision of achieving true global health equity, the policy brief proposes to:
The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the under-preparedness of most nations for cross-border health threats independently. Regional solidarity is a pivotal component in responding to health threats with resources, knowledge sharing, and advocacy at the regional and global levels. To support the objective of inter-regional cooperation, the policy brief recommends that G20 members:
The future of global health
Reimagining global health governance architecture is a sine qua non for global equity to achieve global resilience. The inequitable disruptive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic should serve as a catalyst for new equitable, inclusive initiatives for global health and global accountability. The policy briefs recommend to:
Access other UNU-IIGH Policy Briefs via the UNU Collections.