A study conducted in March 2021 by the United Nations Development Programme and the Pardee Center for International Futures at the University of Denver estimated that the multi-dimensional effects of the Covid-19 crisis could drive over 1 billion people to be living in extreme poverty by 2030 (UNDP 2021) if no action is taken to mitigate the impacts of the crisis. This echoes wider concerns about the impacts of the pandemic on global needs and transnational solidarity. Against this background, this commentary proposes IPE research draws on analytical distinctions between (1) public and private aid; (2) the quantitative and qualitative aspects of aid projects; and (3) the different motivations driving aid to analyse the evolution of aid flows in times of pandemic. With these distinctions in mind, I argue that there are reasons to believe that, despite the global economic depression, aid volumes may remain relatively stable over the coming years. Nevertheless, the current pandemic may re-orient aid flows away from the most urgent needs, requiring scholars to focus more on the quality than quantity of international aid flows in the era of Covid-19.

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