From Double Shock to Double Recovery: Implications and Options for Health Financing in the Time of COVID-19

“From Double Shock to Double Recovery (DSDR) – Implications and Options for Health Financing in the Time of COVID-19,” a discussion paper published in March 2021. The original paper used macroeconomic projections released by the International Monetary Fund in October 2020 to project the possible time path of health spending per capita in 178 countries and territories from 2020 to 2025 under different scenarios. They suggested that few countries had been spared by the global recession of 2020 and that in many countries, government spending, after initial increases in response to the crisis, was likely to fall in at least one, often multiple years. The paper showed that despite a projected return to global economic growth from 2021, low- and lower-middle-income countries (LICs and LMICs) would, with few exceptions, struggle to maintain health spending at levels sufficient to continue combating the pandemic. The paper discussed a range of policy options that countries could use to increase the available domestic resources for health in times of economic crisis. DSDR first technical update, “From Double Shock to Double Recovery – Widening Rifts,” published in September 2021, updated the analysis presented in the original discussion paper. This edition explored the implications of the new IMF projections for governments’ capacities to spend on health. It identified a group of 52 countries of special concern. It found that to change this dynamic, governments in these countries would need to take bold steps to substantially increase the share of their available resources allocated to health. The paper also showed that many LICs and LMICs would struggle to find the domestic resources to roll out COVID-19 vaccines to their populations and to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response, putting the economic recovery at risk. DSDR second technical update, “From Double Shock to Double Recovery – Old Scars, New Wounds,” published in September 2022, describes the new IMF macroeconomic projections. It explores the extent to which the need to pay interest on debt might reduce governments’ capacity to spend; and the implications for country health spending.
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Kurowski, Christoph; Evans, David B; Tandon, Ajay; Eozenou, Patrick Hoang-Vu; Schmidt, Martin; Irwin, Alec; Salcedo Cain, Jewelwayne; Pambudi, Eko Setyo; Postolovska, Iryna. 2021. From Double Shock to Double Recovery: Implications and Options for Health Financing in the Time of COVID-19. Health, Nutrition and Population Discussion Paper;. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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