Vol. 56 No. 3/2022

Rural development in times of pandemics

For merely three years, the corona pandemic has held sway of our lives, with what are now more than 6.5 million deaths reported globally and millions of people who have fallen into poverty. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the global economy fell into its deepest recession since World War II. Over 90 per cent of economies saw their gross domestic product fall, by a global average of 3.3 per cent in 2020.

Extensive macroeconomic relief measures helped the world economy to achieve a slight recovery in 2021. However, this positive trend has again been nullified by the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The World Bank estimates that global growth, still at 5.7 per cent in 2021, will have dropped to 2.9 per cent by the end of the year.

Even though we are not yet able to assess the long-term impacts of the pandemic today, insights so far paint a rather sobering picture. Existing social and economic inequalities have become further aggravated, and the world’s goal of ending hunger and poverty is getting further and further out of reach.

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