2022 - PART TWO
Financial flows, climate financing and the normative agenda
Part Two reflects on the bigger picture, including global and regional challenges, consequences and strategic choices.
Published September 2022

Fiscal response to the COVID-19 crisis

By Vera Songwe
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the global economy on a scale not recorded since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Global real gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 5% in 2020, with – aside from a handful countries, including China – economies across the board registering real GDP contraction. In response to the unprecedented economic crisis, countries responded vigorously and swiftly, deploying a variety of fiscal, monetary and financial policy measures. In contrast
to the response during the 2008 global financial crisis, there was wider consensus on the use of fiscal policy
– notably utilising discretionary fiscal measures while also letting automatic stabilisers work. In total, the global fiscal response between January 2020 and September 2021 amounted to US$ 16.9 trillion, or 16.4% of global GDP in 2020.
Nature is sending us invoices, and they are getting bigger by the day. The costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and other zoonotic diseases, linked to how we treat nature, are well-documented. Increasing wildfires and heatwaves, associated to climate change, are costing national economies billions of dollars each year. Pollution and waste are damaging ecosystem services, claiming millions of lives and placing a huge financial burden on healthcare systems.
Published September 2022

Financing the UN normative agenda amidst growing polarisation

By Nada Al-Nashif
On 1 April 2022, the Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded the longest session it had held since being established in 2006.1 The session took place against an exceptional backdrop of events that placed the HRC at the heart of multilateral diplomacy, at a time when other intergovernmental bodies were in stalemate. In response to rapidly evolving developments following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the HRC – taking upon itself a mandate for accountability – called for immediate de-escalation and respect for international humanitarian law.
Published September 2022

Financing gender equality: The role of the gender equality marker and financial targets

By Anita Bhatia and Aparna Mehrotra
The global outbreak of COVID-19 saw a dramatic backsliding in women’s labour force participation, a deepening feminisation of poverty, an escalating burden of unpaid care work, and an intensification of all types of violence against women and girls (‘the shadow pandemic’). Thus, now more than ever, prioritising gender equality commitments and mobilising financing for gender equality is vital to ensuring that the significant erosion of gender equality gains and women’s human rights is reversed, and that progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is put back on track. In short, building forward better demands a stronger and more concerted focus on gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.