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Pandemic erodes
living standards

  • HEALTH & SCIENCE

  • 8 NOV 2020

Latest survey conducted by UOBC student’s shows adverse effect of pandemic. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp decline in living standards and rising food insecurity in developing countries across the globe, according to a new study by our students.

Study shows the health crisis’s initial socioeconomic effects in low- and middle-income countries, using detailed micro data collected from tens of thousands of households across nine countries.

The researchers conducted 16 nationally and sub-nationally representative phone surveys from April through July 2020 in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. In all of these countries, respondents reported drops in employment, income, and access to markets and services, translating into high levels of food insecurity. Many households reported being unable to meet basic nutritional needs.

“COVID-19 and its economic shock present a stark threat to residents of low- and middle-income countries — where most of the world’s population resides — which lack the social safety nets that exist in rich countries,” said Kelly Jennifer, professor of economics and faculty director of the UOBC’s Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale, and the study’s corresponding author. “The evidence we’ve collected shows dire economic consequences, including rising food insecurity and falling income, which, if left unchecked, could thrust millions of vulnerable households into poverty.”

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