June 24, 2020

Don’t put export bans on medical supplies during COVID-19. Why trade should flow freely to the world’s poorest countries

Originally published in OECD-Development Matters on 28 April 2020

Coronavirus is spreading, and with that are shortages of masks, ventilators, gloves, gowns and face shields. At the global level, governments are trying to save supplies for their own citizens, resulting in curbs on exports of essential COVID-19 medical supplies and medicines.

In sub-Saharan Africa, these restrictions could have a devastating impact on many least developed countries (LDCs) that import more than 50% of their face shields. This includes Angola, Niger, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal.

Read more about how trade policy should work to ensure health and safety across the globe, and for the LDCs that are wanting in medical supplies, in OECD-Development Matters here.

Credits

Header image of a COVID-19 islolation center in Bole-Chefe, Ethiopia - ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2020/Mulugeta Ayene via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license.

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