2008 Tutu Fellow Eunice Ajambo provided a briefing overview on the main points for Namibia and Southern Africa from the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2020 Report. The UN report covers the impact of the global pandemic and subsequent global economic contraction. Eunice is the Economist and Development Coordination officer for the United Nation in Namibia.
The UN is projecting an economic contraction of 3.2 per cent this year and says it is likely to be the worst recession since the Great Depression due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the scale and global nature of the economic impact, it presents unique challenges given how much the global economy has changed since the 1930s.
She says in her summary that today we are much more interconnected and interlinked in a highly-globalized world. Eunice said that facing the COVID-19 pandemic really presented a need for creativity in instituting forward-looking policy measures that could help with the response and recovery from this pandemic. In practical terms, she said, the economic shrinkage would mean an estimated 8.5 trillion dollars of global output would be wiped out. That is equivalent to the combined economies of Germany, United Kingdom and France - or the combined economies of several smaller countries being wiped out for the coming two years. Eunice explained that approximately 15% of an estimated global trade valued at $20 trillion is projected to be lost in 2020.