The World Trade Organization (WTO) has reported that 80 countries and customs territories have banned or limited the export of face masks, protective gear, gloves, and other goods.
Despite several efforts of the international financial organizations, like the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to curb COVID-19 pandemic, WTO said that efforts to slow the spread of the pandemic could be undermined by the lack of transparency about restrictions and failure to cooperate.
In its statement, the WTO said, “While the introduction of export restrictive measures is understandable, the lack of international cooperation in these areas risks cutting off import reliant countries from desperately needed medical products and triggering a supply shock.
“And by interfering with established medical supply chains, such measures also risk hampering the urgently required supply response.”
It appears some of these countries are applying this export restrictive measures in order not to run into short supply themselves when their need for them raises.
This move by those 80 countries will hit a country like Nigeria very hard, as these items are in short supply, and will hamper measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.
As a result, a lot of corporate organizations, donor agencies and philanthropists have been donating some of these items as more state governments have made the use of some of them, while in the public places, compulsory.
The WTO has, however, warned that these export restrictions could affect supply chains and encourage additional tariffs just as more countries might adopt the same measure and further reduce available supplies.