The pandemic has worsened inequality between countries and within them

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(Written by Abhirup Bhunia)

More than a year after the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the virus has not only affected 190 countries, leading to a 4.3 per cent contraction of the world economy, but has also perpetuated inequalities on three interconnected fronts: Inequalities in access to and availability of vaccines; loss of livelihood and standards of living, with millions pushed back into poverty in low and middle-income countries (LMICs); and gender inequality across sectors.

While vaccines have been produced at record speed, disparities in access to and distribution of vaccines have meant that vaccinations are potentially years away for many low-income countries. The Duke Global Health Institute’s assessment shows that wealthy countries had taken an early lead in striking purchase deals, in effect, cornering a lion’s share of available vaccine doses. As early as July 2020, the US and UK secured deals to inoculate 93 per cent and 135 per…

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