Advisory Note: COVID-19 and Corruption in the Pacific

May 3, 2020

COVID-19 calls for immediate action. What is required is a health response coupled with measures to tackle the profound social and economic dimensions of this crisis. Income losses are expected to exceed US$220 billion in developing countries, and this will reverberate across societies, severely impacting education and human rights worldwide. “[W]e are not only facing a global health pandemic but also a global humanitarian catastrophe. Millions of civilians …face being pushed to the brink of starvation”.

In order to avoid a global economic collapse and stave off a potential depression, Member States have taken emergency measures to provide an economic safety net for citizens and businesses in distress. This has resulted in relaxed safeguards by trading compliance, oversight and accountability for speed of response and achievement of rapid impact, in turn creating opportunities for corruption to thrive. The Pacific is no exception to this.

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