Many a time, as emergencies broke out in the world, this with little time exacerbate the Health, Social, Informal, Economic and other sectors in countries. These emergencies ranging from Spanish Flu, World War, Ebola, Hanta Virus, Small Pox, Hiv, Corona Virus ETC. These with no doubt has had negative effect on the survivors of this stern era with consequences ranging from shortage of supplies, poor health, lost homes and recess in gross domestic profit of the country. Gross domestic profit which according to Bethany McCamish and Rachel Siegel is “a quantitative measure of how much an economy produces or which include the monetary value of both goods and services within a specific nation borders”. In global emergencies, this crawl down to recess and in due time open to ‘Economic Vulnerability’ which according to United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) “ is the exposure of an economy to exogenous shocks, arising out of economic openness”. The above reason had become an established fact which brought about the role of law and policies in other to cushion global emergencies.
Since the uncertainty brought on the global economy without prior notice, this has been an eye-opening, taking the Corona virus pandemic which caught the world of guard a case study, as at the time of writing this paper, the number of recorded cases in the world is 6.29 million making United state at the peak with 1.89 million confirmed, 432 thousand recovered and 109 thousand death follow by Brazil and top-notch European countries. This which narrows the activity of monetary circulation down to mainly health sector brought about weakness and impediment in other segment, causing regress and negative economy effect all over the world. The question now is, how does legislation cushion negative economy effect in times like this? For the German-legal theorist, Carl Schmitt, the locus of sovereignty was the ability to decide on ‘exception’ which means where the ordinary law does not apply (Emergency legislation). There are steps however, which can be put in place in form of law and policy to contain an approching emergency or real one.
The Pandemic which do not only affect individual home, also gradually push the world into global recession, international businesses, travels, tourism have been severely disturbed and industries shut down (Mark Z., Ryans., Cristian D., Steven C., Adam K., Peter Z. 2020). The normal two times meal for an average person in developing countries has drastically reduce leaving them to one time a day meal or none (as opposed to under-developed countries)
In relation with the above, the positive effect Laws and Policies will play in cushioning the negative economic effect of global emergencies cannot be overemphasised, reason being that global emergencies come with economic crises of which some preparatory measures are to be taken beforehand. What possibly can these measures be ? These measures could be in two forms which are ‘Government Preparatory Measure’ and ‘Individual Preparatory Measure’, the later may or may not be put compulsory as a policy or legislation as it is based on individual or personal decision to make. The ideology of Social Contract Theory (John Locke) justifies the Former, for government is what every individual in a country look up to for the purpose of minimizing strife, emergency or sudden outbreak such as Epidemic or Pandemic, these in return individuals or citizens of every country complies to any policy given.
The Government preparatory measures inter alia should include making law pertaining to sudden outbreak, bringing up policy to train some set of personnel of every organisation, legislation on Internal Money Reserve, Public Awareness policies must be put in place as early as lock down or any other means to contain such threat is declared. Laws and policies of a country has significant role to play in addressing the negative economic impact. The above reason will be expatiated in subsequent paragraph.
In line with the above, there should be a legislation on ‘Internal Money Reserve’ or otherwise called ‘Cash Reserve’, of which are funds set aside by companies, organisations and countries. This will not only help cushion the impending negative economic effect but also get a country commendation in international world of her expertise on crises’ management. Although the International Monetary Fund which ”works with countries to strengthen their economic institutions by providing technical assistance and training on critical economic issues”. Under her (IMF) capacity development programme can assist nations of the world to strengthen their administrative emergency response capacity in public financial management and revenue administration. To help governments needing money related support, several facilities are accessible from the International Monetary Fund and the worldwide network, as features by IMFC but this is not the best option to wait for as the country policy on internal money reserve can help cushion the negative economic effect that may/might befall the country, even before the advent of requiring for support from organisation and bodies like IMF and so on. This legislative method in time of crisis provide timely, targeted and temporary cash flow relief to the people and firms that are most affected until the emergency abates.
Furthermore, there should be an act or law on ‘Quick Awareness’ in a situation where there is emergency forecast. Under public awareness policy, it is important to propagate or disseminate to the masses how emergencies action and changes to original budget are compatible with stability and sustainability. This is that as soon as there is a verisimilitude of an imminent emergency, the government through ministry of information and any other public awareness team should not hesitate to make people realise measures to be taken for public safety and economic sustainability. This, which is not as complicated as the old time where town crier cries all around to relay information, the electronic and print media platform are very powerful tools when it comes to this and not to left out, the social media will also assist in reaching heterogeneous audience. Government advertisement is a very important tool needed among other things to cushion negative economic effect during or before an imminent global emergency, and for this, government needs to use her department of information effectively and efficiently to reach her citizens. Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) defined advertising as a “means of presenting the most possible… selling message to the right prospect” and in global emergency situation, the citizen should be the right prospect.
In conclusion, point above are not all but few measures inter alia to take in relation to what role law and policy will play in matter discussed in this paper. The Corona Virus Pandemic of our age really gives insight on some other aspect of legislation lagging attention even within the so-called developed countries. Dr Tedros, director general of World Health Organization, in a media briefing on March 11 said “pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that if misused, can cause unreasonable fear… leading to suffering and death”. It is against the backdrop, conclusion can be reached that the role law and policy will in cushioning negative economy effect of global emergency cannot be overemphasis.
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