Webinar — How can Canada support recovery efforts in the global south in the wake of the pandemic?

It has been almost two years since COVID-19 struck. It has unleashed havoc on the global economy which in turn has impacted our domestic economy and negatively impacted our businesses, communities, and lives in unprecedented ways. As we have seen with Omicron, a variant emerging in one part of the world can directly impact the economy and livelihoods in Canada. Nonetheless Canada, like other rich world economies, is poised to bounce back much quicker than the global south.  

COVID-19 has severely damaged the economies of the global south. Lockdowns have resulted in shrinking economies ─ slowed down tourism, trade in goods and capital flows. Poor local and international policy responses, including slow vaccine rollout, mean these issues could have long-term consequences. Furthermore, the pandemic is having significant social impacts, such as rising inequality and the creation of new vulnerable groups. Extreme poverty is set to increase for the first time in 2 decades. 

With new variants on the rise, what is the responsibility of Canada and other wealthy countries to help the global south resist and recover? How can we help boost vaccination rates elsewhere? What financial support should Canada be giving to poorer countries as they battle the economic impacts of COVID-19? And what does it all mean for us in Canada? 

On Friday, January 21, we held a webinar on Canada’s role in post-pandemic recovery for the global south. Panellists Joanne Liu, professor, School of Population and Global Health, McGill University; Mark Plant, Chief Operating Officer, Centre for Global Development Europe; and Maïka Sondarjee, assistant professor, School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, engaged in a dynamic discussion led by journalist and filmmaker Mellissa Fung (CBC News, Al Jazeera).  



Mark Plant
Mark Plant
Chief Operating Officer, Center for Global development

Mark Plant is co-director of development finance, a senior policy fellow and chief operating officer of the Center for Global Development (CGD) Europe. His appointment to CGD follows a long career at the International Monetary Fund, where he was most recently director of human resources. Before that, Plant worked extensively with African countries, culminating in his appointment as deputy director of the IMF’s African Department. He also held a range of senior positions in the Strategy, Policy and Review Department, where he oversaw the IMF’s policies toward low-income countries, including its work on the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative and the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. Before joining the IMF, Plant held senior positions in the US Department of Commerce and at the General Motors Corporation. He began his career teaching economics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Joanne Liu
Joanne Liu
Professor of Clinical Medicine, McGill University

Joanne Liu is a Canadian pediatric emergency room physician and former international president of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). She is a professor at McGill University, where her work focuses on pandemic and health emergencies.  Liu first joined MSF in 1996, working with Malian refugees in Mauritania. Since then she has provided and coordinated emergency medical aid across the globe, whether it be resulting from natural disasters like tsunamis or earthquakes, or viral outbreaks such as Ebola in 2014. As a member of the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response, Liu has been contributing to a set of comprehensive recommendations to protect people from future outbreaks. Liu was recently conferred with an honorary fellowship by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the most prestigious honour the school awards. She graduated from the McGill Faculty of Medicine in 1991. 

Maïka Sondarjee
Maïka Sondarjee
Assistant Professor, School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa

Maïka Sondarjee is an assistant professor at the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa. In 2021, she was awarded the Talent Impact Award by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Alice Wilson Award by the Royal Society of Canada. Her first book, Perdre le Sud. Décoloniser la solidarité internationale, was published in 2020. She is a regular collaborator at Le Devoir and Noovo.


Mellissa Fung
Mellissa Fung
Freelance Journalist

Mellissa Fung is a veteran journalist, best-selling author, filmmaker, and director of the feature documentary Captive She has traveled the world producing original documentaries for Al-Jazeera International, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and other media outlets.  She covered the war in Afghanistan for the CBC, leading to her best-selling first book, Under an Afghan Sky, which chronicles her experience as a hostage after she was kidnapped while on assignment in Kabul in 2008. Since leaving the CBC, Fung has focused on human rights reporting, returning to Afghanistan again and again to continue reporting on the challenges that continue to exist there, particularly for women and children. In addition, her work has been featured in The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post, The Walrus, The Toronto Star, TRT, CNN, and PBS She has received numerous awards, including the Gracie Award, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association award and the New York Festivals Gold awardShe holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Global Reporting Centre. 

Date and time

January 21, 2022
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. ET



Event Type



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