Six months ago, a new government was put into place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the breakup of the coalition between President Félix Tshisekedi and his predecessor, Joseph Kabila. How do Congolese perceive the Sama Lukonde government today? How do people view the new government’s first measures, including the creation of a “state of siege” in North Kivu and Ituri, as well as the work of parliament?
Over the past decade, the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced several outbreaks, including cholera and Ebola. Yet, as with COVID-19, whose first case in the country was announced on March 10, 2020, the Congolese health system is still unable to cope with these epidemics today without significant financial support from external partners. This has not prevented the government from creating several ad hoc structures, often budgetary, that are supposed to contribute to the fight against the spread of Covid-19. These include the multisectoral committee, the technical secretariat, the advisory board, the presidential task force, and the national solidarity fund against the coronavirus. This new report demonstrates how the multiplication of structures in the response to epidemics does not solve the problems raised by the previous responses: poor management of human and financial resources, poor circulation of information and rivalries between actors.
Energy subsidies are one of the few domains where there is a near full-throated consensus among progressives, governments, and economists over the need for reform. Nearly everywhere, energy subsidies are regressive, vastly favoring the car-and energy-consuming parts of the population that are the least in need. The costs of these subsidies can vary, but in many countries, they represent a large fiscal burden. Prior to its 2005 reforms, for example, Indonesia's fuel subsidy was nearly the same amount as its health budget and its targeted anti-poverty programs combined. From the perspective of global climate change, few economic policies are as damaging as the direct and indirect contributions of fossil fuel subsidies.
On Friday, September 10, Secretary-General António Guterres presented Our Common Agenda, his response to the request made by UN member states for recommendations in the 75th anniversary declaration adopted in 2020. The secretary-general does not mince his words about the problems the world is facing, from the pandemic that is upending our world, conflicts that continue to rage and worsen, and the disastrous effects of a changing climate—famine, floods, fires, and extreme heat—that threaten our very existence.
After decades of neglect, the COVID-19 pandemic has made visible the vital role that the care economy plays in the functioning of economies and societies—and highlighted the deep crisis at the heart of it. Care recipients and providers of care have been on the COVID-19 frontlines, and the ability of governments to mount an effective response to the pandemic has been hampered by decades of policies that undervalued and neglected the care economy.