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Securing a COVID-19 recovery for rural areas


The OECD Forum Network has published an interesting blog article looking at how rural areas could secure a post covid-19 recovery while making inclusive growth a priority.

Written by experts Lamia Kamal-Chaoui (Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities) and Peter Wostner (Chairman of the OECD’s Working Party on Rural Policy), the article highlights that a new perspective is needed, alongside a proactive agenda for rural communities. This could help unlock rural areas’ potential to deliver a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous future.

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus was on cities. As time passed, the virus extended its reach into smaller towns and rural communities that are more vulnerable due to their older demography, limited health infrastructure and weaker institutions. Hence, rural areas are still suffering from an economic impact of this pandemia.

Nevertheless, the pandemia has prompted many to change their views on rural areas with possibilities for new ways of life, including online shopping and remote working. 

Rural areas can respond to these unprecedented circumstances and recover, by building on their opportunities and enhancing their connections with other areas and global value chains. Yet all of this will require investment in new technologies, infrastructure and new business models.

Further analysis can be found in the latest edition of OECD Regions and Cities at a Glance 2020 which provides an analysis of how regions and cities across the OECD are progressing in their efforts to build stronger, more sustainable and resilient economies and societies.

This blog article is part of a series in which OECD experts and thought leaders — from around the world and all parts of society — address the COVID-19 crisis, discussing and developing solutions now and for the future.

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