Policy failures left people woefully vulnerable to COVID: Oxfam
Most governments around the world have been failing for decades to implement the health, tax and labour policies that would reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and make economies more resilient to shocks such as COVID-19, a new Oxfam report has found.Analysis from Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) published on Wednesday blamed governmental policy failures for the depth of the coronavirus crisis and the economic fallout it has caused.“[Governments] have been failing to spend enough on health. They have been failing to protect their workforce with things like sick pay. They have been failing to tax the rich, and instead let them off the hook,” Chema Vera, Oxfam’s acting executive director, told Al Jazeera.
Just 26 out of 158 countries were spending the recommended 15 percent of their national budgets on the health sector before the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII).In 103 countries, at least one-third of the workforce has no access to basic labour protections, such as sick pay. The index also noted that only 53 countries have social protection schemes against job loss and illness, and they covered only 22 percent of the global workforce.