Fighting Austerity and the Pandemic - 2021 Edition

The West Africa Inequality Crisis

Tantanon*cooking in the commune of Tori, neighborhood of Aklome in the south of Benin. Credit : Alokpa Kodjovi / Oxfam
Paper author: 
Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI)
Paper publication date: 
Thursday 14 October 2021

While West African governments’ indifference towards inequality would be a tragedy at any time, it is more so during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is worsening inequality. In 2021, when COVID-19 infections are rising in West Africa, the critical support health and socioeconomic programmes put in place by most governments in 2020 are being rolled back and replaced with austerity. Many governments are following advice from the IMF and World Bank, reminiscent of the severe cuts in spending imposed under the structural adjustment policies of the 1980s and 1990s.

Yet, there are other solutions to turn the financial tide and ensure the well-being of the people. Find out which ones in our full CRII report and the new country profiles on inequalities.