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Coronavirus, Africa’s health collapse: up to 3 million could die

L ‘Africa the next fear. And more than for obvious humanitarian reasons, Europe should deal with it for reasons of self-protection. His prospects for the effects of Covid-19 make a massacre plausible in the population that is young but already weakened by endemic diseases like tuberculosis and AIDS: fear of 300,000 to three million and 300,000 deaths, depending on the measures that have been taken To stop the contagion, the United Nations wrote in April; 22 million patients may need to be hospitalized, and more than 4 million of them will need intensive care (almost nonexistent). 20 million jobs can disappear (in a context where 20 million more had to be created); Another 29 million people are affected by absolute poverty.

The risk of a virus rebound

If the key dates of this dreaded collapse of health and the economy become reality, the African continent could lead to two very serious events for Europe: It could become the bank against which the virus jumps like a billiard ballto return and circulate among us who think we are safe; and could be the platform for The most powerful and desperate migration flow we have ever seen since the war in Syria. The sad paradox that Europe has very little scope: It already has enormous problems within its borders, it needs at least a thousand billion to be made available to fight the pandemic, and it struggles between suffocating rules. The countries of the Union most in need of support are the southern ones: those that would be at the forefront of the aftermath of the African tragedy.

Unreliable data

So far we have faked almost nothing. And the official numbers helped us: By April 20, there were 21,000 confirmed Covid-19 patients across Africacompared to a population of just under one and a half billion people. Statistically little things. Unfortunately, the peculiarity of the African case lies in its unfathomability. There are no medical facilities and no serious testsand pretends to follow the real evolution of the illusory pandemic: but the Africa Center for Strategic Studies speaks of a Contagion growing by 25% a day in 47 countries. The comparison with the disturbing context data. Africa can look for possible scenarios in its Covid-19 trajectories. However, the peculiarities of the African context and the weaknesses that hamper its response are likely to have very different impacts, warns UNECA, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, which has released a frightening forecast report.

The critic

We know that Covid-19 circulates in cities: Over 600 million Africans live in urban areas. We know that the first weapon is social distancing: 56% of them (excluding North Africa) are massed together slum and huts. We believe that children are less sensitive to the virus 40% of African children under the age of 5 are malnourishedtherefore more exposed. We have learned to wash our hands obsessively: but 36% of African households have no running water and another 30% have limited access to it. With GDP falling by up to 2.6% (some analysts forecast a minus of 5%), the price of sunken oil (40% of African exports) and tourism on its knees (38% of GDP) are the most important Economies of the continent (South Africa, Nigeria and Angola) with apnea, Governments risk losing control and facing unrest and unrestUneca predicts. It is not difficult to imagine how it would affect those who target migration flows.

The debt node

You serve immediately 100 billion fiscal incentives and the same for health measures. We must have an impact on Africa’s indebtedness, as the United Nations calls for: a two-year moratorium to grant tax space to countries that are suffering heavy losses. Therefore appeals to the World Bank, IMF, G20, European Union. By the end of the year, the G20 had suspended government debt repayment in the world’s 76 poorest countries (including 40 Africans). The Union should take a bolder step. In January, the effects of Covid-19 exacerbated the problem. The Debt rescheduling Attempts were made in relation to Africa in 1996 and 2005 (with savings of $ 99 billion if they are fully functional). But poor governance by many African governments has led to a very rapid rise, and now $ 116 billion in bonds are in the hands of private individuals and 150 in Chinese hands: the game is no longer just for Western countries. However, it is up to them to play it. And for us Europeans, for trivial reasons of geopolitical structure, much more than for the Americans.

The European strategy, old before it was even born

The new strategy with Africa introduced by Ursula von der Leyen in March (and based on green transition, digital transformation, partnership for sustainable growth in peace and security) appears old before it was born and is tragically unrealistic today. Africans have practically ignored it since disclosure. Africa before Covid-19 actually brings Europe ahead of itself. Urgent action against war and poverty to help the most vulnerable and distant countries, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said to Paolo Valentino, or the virus will hit us again. We have to interact with the creativity that comes from below, support small and medium-sized enterprises that guarantee 80% of jobs and cannot stand the blockade, and informal economic activities, 55% of the sub-economy, must be accompanied to develop. – Sahara, support for collaboratively structured non-profit organizations like AVSI. But without an EU army and a common foreign policy, and therefore without the possibility of getting into the African game with all possible options, those of us Europeans will be more and more in vain towards golf clubs: among older anxious gentlemen, the fire outside the fence goes so far, ruin their greenery.

May 17, 2020 (change May 17, 2020 | 11:46 pm)


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