Coronavirus

Women’s activism in the time of climate and other emergencies

We are facing a climate emergency, a possible economic recession, and now a global pandemic that will test the limits of our health systems and expose the short-sightedness of our governments and their skewed priorities.

As the G20 group of major economies begins an emergency coronavirus summit online on Monday, anti-poverty campaigners Global Justice Now called for international coordination to secure an unprecedented package of measures to build public healthcare capacity, especially in low-income countries which stand most exposed to the pandemic threat. 

The race for a coronavirus vaccine proves big pharma isn't fit for purpose


18 March 2020

As the spread of coronavirus continues unabated, the response of the pharmaceutical industry is being thrust into the spotlight. For years, major public health crises have exposed the fundamental conflict between profit and public health in our pharmaceutical system.

Reacting to the UK government's announcement of additional funding for coronavirus vaccine research (1), Heidi Chow, pharmaceuticals campaigner at Global Justice Now said: "Funding for research into a coronavirus vaccine is vitally important, but the government must apply public interest conditions to this funding to prevent pharmaceutical companies from charging high prices which would restrict widespread access. This is even more the case if aid money is being used to pay for it."

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The global south is being left at the mercy of the financial markets. We must keep campaigning to prevent a full-blown debt crisis


23 July 2020

While lockdown is easing here in Britain, across the world coronavirus cases continue to rise. In some countries, like El Salvador, health systems have been overwhelmed. In others, including parts of India, strict lockdowns have had to be reimposed in parts of the country. Across Africa, infections are rising rapidly.

Coronavirus is killing the poor far more than the rich. A vaccine must be free for everyone


19 May 2020

Pneumonia is killing 2,000 people every day. But not because of coronavirus. For nearly twenty years, millions of children have not had access to the patented vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline due to its high cost, which has generated billions in profit for those corporations.

Where the pandemic isn’t (yet) the virus: fearing illness and destitution in Lesotho

Every morning, Google Alerts connects me to news coverage of Lesotho, a small southern African country that I’ve visited regularly since the mid-1990s. Over the past couple of months, the new lexicon of social distancing, lock-down, PCR testing kits and PPE shortages has threaded through the nation’s press, a striking reminder that the coronavirus pandemic is truly global.

The impact of Covid-19 on Bangladesh

This article is part of our interview series, Southern Perspectives on the Coronavirus Pandemic,

In recent weeks I have interviewed several social movements activists and NGO campaigners in Bangladesh about the impact of coronavirus on their country. Many are fearful to speak publicly, especially to members of the foreign media and NGOs, about their concerns and views over their government’s approach to the pandemic.

Covid-19 in Calais – a harsher hostile environment

Displaced communities in Calais are on the frontlines of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The migrants living in precarious conditions at the UK-French border have been left without support and are facing hostility and violence from the state. I’ve been volunteering in Calais and have seen first-hand how the outbreak of coronavirus has rendered an already bleak and desperate situation far bleaker. We must stand in solidarity with migrants in Calais and everywhere.

Climate actions should not be postponed due to Covid-19, both crises are threats to us all

The novel coronavirus or Covid-19 has shown us how interconnected we are and how fragile the global economic system is. Since its first identification in Wuhan, China in mid-December last year, the virus has spread rapidly to almost every county in the world and become a pandemic.

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Exiting the permanent crisis in the global south

April 2020

The case for a global financial reset in the wake of Covid-19 

Even in the wealthiest countries on earth, years of austerity combined with ‘market knows best’ ideology has hollowed out our ability to deal with coronavirus. But for many countries in the global south, the weakness of the public sector was not a democratic choice but was imposed by rich countries and international institutions like the IMF...

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New research released today by Global Justice Now examines the history of some of the leading corporations producing coronavirus medicines, warning that their business model is likely to make controlling the pandemic more difficult, despite the rapid production of vaccines.

Groups in more than 90 countries warn ISDS system could be used to claim billions from governments over pandemic protections

Global Justice Now today criticised Health Secretary Matt Hancock for failing to join world leaders in declaring a potential coronavirus vaccine to be a ‘public good’, and instead acting as a cheerleader for the pharmaceutical industry at the World Health Assembly, which concludes today.