The study was launched in spring 2020, as China, Europe and the U.S. led global efforts to check spread of the virus through ambitious lockdowns of business, schools and transit. Three independent research teams, including CEGA, joined to conduct surveys in the countries where they already worked. . . .
Reports early in the pandemic suggested that developing countries might be less vulnerable because their populations are so much younger than those in Europe and North America.
But the research teams found that, within weeks after governments imposed lockdowns and other measures to control the virus’s spread, the pandemic was having a pervasive economic impact:
Income fell broadly. In Colombia, 87% of respondents nationwide reported lost income in the early phase of the pandemic. Such losses were reported by more than 80% of people nationwide in Rwanda and Ghana.
People struggled to find food. In the Philippines, 77% of respondents nationwide said they faced difficulty purchasing food because stores were closed, transport was shut down or food supplies were inadequate. Similar reports came from 68% of Colombians and 64% of respondents in Sierra Leone; rates were similar for some communities within other countries.
Food insecurity rose sharply. While the impact was worst in rural Sierra Leone, other communities were hard hit: In Bangladesh, 69% of landless agricultural households reported that they were forced to eat less, along with 48% of households in rural Kenya.
I think we’re going to find that most of the impact of this disaster stemmed from government action.
Plus: “In both rich and poor nations, he said, governments have used the pandemic as a reason to crack down on political opponents.”