As the world passes 2 million confirmed COVID19 cases, the lack of adequate shelter, sanitation, and health systems in low and lower-middle-income countries puts us at the precipice of the worst humanitarian crisis in 100 years.
Getting timely, accurate data to get the pandemic under control in Africa and other regions is critical to avoid devastation and for the success of global efforts. As Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said: “If the virus is not defeated in Africa, it will only bounce back to the rest of the world.” making talk of recovery and reopening economies premature.
Areas, where better data can save lives during COVID-19, include population, health infrastructure and staffing, virus monitoring and tracking the economic impacts, including business closures, the impact on agricultural production, on trade and on public spending, to put in place the right support and avoid long-term devastation.
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) are unveiling an initiative to strengthen Africa’s data ecosystems in the face of COVID-19.