How COVID-19 is tragically exposing systemic vulnerabilities in Peru
By Kattia Liz Talla Cornejo and Andrew M. Fischer
Despite early assessments that Peru was faring well in the COVID-19 pandemic and that its preparedness was due to its strict application of austerity and reforms over the last 30 years, these quickly turned out to be tragically premature as the country emerged over the summer as one of the worst impacted globally in terms of confirmed deaths per capita. While much of the blame has been focused on people’s behaviour, the crisis ultimately points to deep overlapping structural inequalities within the social protection, employment, and health systems, which austerity and reform have not resolved and in some cases worsened.
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About the authors:
Kattia Liz Talla Cornejo lives in Lima, Peru. She has been working as a consultant monitoring a health project aimed at strengthening the COVID-19 response in Ancash, one of the Peruvian regions most impacted by the pandemic. This allows her to observe the critical situation of the health system and the COVID-19 response from the inside. She holds an MA in Development Studies from ISS with a major in Social Policy, and degree in Economics and International Business. She has experience in public finance, policy advocacy and monitoring within the fields of social policy, health and childhood, and has worked in governmental and non-governmental organizations in Peru.
Andrew M. Fischer is Associate Professor of Social Policy and Development Studies at the ISS and the Scientific Director of CERES, The Dutch Research School for International Development. His latest book, Poverty as Ideology (Zed, 2018), was awarded the International Studies in Poverty Prize by the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) and Zed Books and, as part of the award, is now fully open access (http://bora.uib.no/handle/1956/20614). Since 2015, he has been leading a European Research Council Starting Grant on the political economy of externally financing social policy in developing countries. He has been known to tweet @AndrewM_Fischer