On the eve of the UN Public Service Day, June 23, we recognize the work of public servants, especially in health care, and reiterate the urgent need to expand the fiscal space for increased investments in public services. Corporate tax abuses and other illicit financial flows (IFFs) must be stopped to plug the leaks that have been draining our economies of precious resources that should have been invested in public services.
The nightmare of COVID-19 was unleashed not only by a virus. Years of inadequate investments in public health left many countries unable to cope with the health crisis. Life-saving vaccines are now available but global inequality is also apparent in the ability of rich countries to hoard vaccines while developing countries have to make do with extremely slow vaccine rollout.
Governments must stand for the public good and respond to calls for vaccine equality and for a suspension of intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines. People’s health must not be held hostage to the profit-driven agendas of pharmaceutical multinational corporations.