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Health and economic challenges: the crisis is putting the world to the test

The fact is now established: the coronavirus pandemic is profoundly shaking our systems but also our certainties. The shock is immense: the health crisis has turned into an economic, even political crisis. The epidemic, which was limited for several months to one region of China, has spread rapidly throughout the world. No country has been spared and the end of the crisis is still a long way off. But it is essential to have landmarks to better prepare for this “after”. This is what IFGR offers you with its logbook.

This week, we offer you a double perspective: geographical, by looking at the situation on the African continent; economic, through the responsibility that falls to companies, according to Elisabeth Ayrault, CEO of CNR, and the repercussions of this crisis on Argentina’s economy.

  • Would Africa be spared by the pandemic? Almost all countries on the African continent are affected, but official figures concerning the number of cases and deaths remain, for the moment, well below the levels reached in Europe or in the United States. What are the reasons for this? Is there any hope? We have collected the testimonies of Hamed Semega, OMVS High Commissioner and Mirdad Kazanji, Director of the Institut Pasteur of  French Guyana, who has spent more than ten years in Africa, to better understand the current situation. 
  • Mobilizing companies to avoid chaos: this is the deliberately strong title of the open forum by Elisabeth Ayrault, CEO of CNR (the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône) and founding member of IFGR. Convinced of the role that companies can play in the energy transition, she invites them, just like our elected representatives and citizens, to build appropriate responses to develop our resilience and to act jointly to preserve the balance of ecosystems.

Companies have their share of responsibility for the degradation of our environment, because they are part of a model that encourages us to always put the economy at the centre of decision-making. However, I remain convinced that they will be at the heart of the transition towards a new common project, which combines the economy, the environment and society.

  • The situation is delicate in Argentina. If the country manages to control the spread of the coronavirus through strict containment measures for the time being, the national economy could collapse.

It remains fragile since the economic crisis of 2018 and the crisis is reducing the country’s export capacity, particularly to Asia. This is what Ricardo Alvarez and Alfredo Sese, both IFGR members, tell us, using the example of the cereal sector in particular.

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