The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today released two new data dashboards that highlight the huge disparities in countries’ abilities to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
The pandemic is more than a global health emergency. It is a systemic human development crisis, already affecting the economic and social dimensions of development in unprecedented ways. Policies to reduce vulnerabilities and build capacities to tackle crises, both in the short and long term, are vital if individuals and societies are to recover from shocks like this.
Preparedness of countries to respond to COVID-19
UNDP’s Dashboard 1 on Preparedness presents indicators for 189 countries – including the level of development, inequalities, the capacity of a healthcare system and internet connectivity – to assess how well a nation can respond to the multiple impacts of a crisis like COVID-19.
While every society is vulnerable to crises, their abilities to respond differ significantly around the world.
For example, the most developed countries – those in the very high human development category – have on average 55 hospital beds, over 30 physicians, and 81 nurses per 10,000 people, compared to 7 hospital beds, 2.5 physicians, and 6 nurses in the least developed countries.
Georgia has 26 hospital beds, 51 physicians and 41 nurses per 10,000 people which places it in the group of countries with high-level health sector preparedness. This readiness was clearly important in shaping Georgia’s successful management of the pandemic.
However, there are clearly other factors at work in determining how preparedness translated into specific country outcomes. The caliber of leadership, timing of responses and levels of popular trust all help to explain why some better endowed countries performed so much worse on infection and mortality rates than other countries entering the crisis with fewer resources.
Vulnerabilities of countries in a crisis like COVID-19
Preparedness is one thing. But, once a crisis hits, how vulnerable are countries to the fallout? UNDP’s Dashboard 2 on Vulnerabilities presents indicators that reflect countries’ susceptibility to the effects of this crisis, including poverty, social protection and labor programs, and an economy’s exposure to the immediate economic impacts of travel bans.
Travel bans and lockdowns are especially risky for countries that rely heavily on tourism and remittances. With tourism accounting for 21.7% of GDP and remittances worth 12.6% of GDP, this is where Georgia scores as particularly vulnerable to economic shocks from COVID-19. The relatively high national poverty line, 20.1%, is another cause for concern.
These vulnerabilities put a premium on a carefully crafted socio-economic recovery plan that “leaves no one behind,” in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. To support Governments in this process, the UN has launched a new framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19. UNDP leads this effort in Georgia on behalf of the UN family.
For more information and media interviews, contact:
In New York:
- Adam Cathro, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 212 906 5326
- Anna Ortubia, email@example.com, +1 212 906 5964
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at www.undp.org or follow at @UNDP.
ABOUT THESE DASHBOARDS:
These colour-coded tables monitor the level of preparedness of countries to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and their level of vulnerability. The dashboards allow partial grouping of countries by each indicator in the table. For each indicator, countries are divided into five groups of approximately equal size with the intention not to suggest threshold or target values for the indicators but to allow a crude assessment of a country’s performance relative to others. A country that is in the top quintile group performs better than the 80 percent of countries, and country in the middle quintile group performs better than 40 percent but also worse than 40 percent. Five-colour coding visualizes the partial grouping of countries and helps users to immediately discern a country performance across the set of selected indicators. Data presented in these tables come from the official international sources.