Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 in Four African Countries
COVID-19 and the attempts to limit its spread have resulted in profound economic impacts and a significant contraction in the global economy is expected. This webinar will provide some of the first evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of and responses to the pandemic among households and individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa. To do so, reduced-form econometric methods are applied to longitudinal household survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda. This data originated from the pre-COVID-19 face-to-face household surveys that had been conducted under the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) initiative and from the novel monthly phone surveys that are implemented during the pandemic — partly with financial support from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The headline findings are fivefold:
- First, although false beliefs regarding COVID-19 remain prevalent, government action to limit the spread of the disease is associated with greater individual knowledge of the disease and increased uptake of precautionary measures.
- Second, 256 million individuals — 77 percent of the population in the four surveyed countries — are estimated to live in households that have lost income due to the pandemic.
- Third, attempts to cope with this loss are exacerbated by the inability to access medicine and staple foods among 20 to 25 percent of households in each country, and food insecurity is disproportionately borne by households that were already impoverished prior to the pandemic.
- Fourth, levels of concern are high across all four countries: an estimated 257 million individuals (78 percent) are concerned that someone in their household will fall ill with COVID-19 and 292 million individuals (88 percent) are concerned about COVID-19 being a threat to household finances.
- Fifth, the student-teacher contact has dropped from a pre-COVID-19 rate of 96 percent to just 17 percent among households with school-aged children.
These findings can help inform decisions by governments and international organizations regarding measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and reveal the need for continued monitoring.
World Bank Development Data Group
Talip Kilic is a Senior Economist at the World Bank Development Data Group; a member the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team; a core team member for the World Development Report 2021 on Data for Better Lives; and the focal point for the COVID-19 phone surveys that are supported by the World Bank LSMS team. His research focuses on poverty, agriculture, and gender in low- and middle-income countries, as well as survey methodology to improve the quality, timeliness and policy-relevance of household and farm surveys. In the latter line of work, objective measurement, including through sensor deployment; research on policy implications of non-classical measurement error in survey data; and integration with geospatial, census, administrative and mobile data are of interest to him
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona
Anna Josephson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona. Her core research focuses on individuals in and households around the world, on issues of risk, development, food security, and agriculture. In her work, Dr. Josephson explores the relationships between individuals and their risky environments, and how households and small firms make decisions to survive under challenging conditions.
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