Exploring the impact & implications of COVID-19
This global crisis that has taken industries and sectors, government, citizens and all sections of society into uncharted territory.
The crisis has affected almost everyone, but not everyone equally – here's just a sample of recent excerpts from Expert Briefings that consider the impact of COVID-19 from various perspectives.
The Malala Fund estimates that 10 million more girls globally will be out of secondary school following the COVID-19 crisis .
Vaccine development has a 94% failure rate, but with some 169 vaccine candidates, a few successful ones should emerge.
Human rights & inequality
Of the experts quoted in the media coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak, only 25% are women.
Governments [in Gulf states] will use public satisfaction with their handling of the crisis to promote austerity measures e.g. Saudis will pay 15% VAT on goods.
The UN's global funds have collectively released over 108 million dollars to 35 countries affected by the disease.
Around 75% households bought groceries online during the outbreak, and 15% intend to continue after the epidemic is under control.
Military & security
The enactment of measures reserved for civil emergencies means [Gulf] governments have effectively placed societies in an undeclared form of martial law.
Law & judicial
The Qatari government announced that people who violate quarantine or who do not report a COVID-19 infection could be jailed for three years.
Energy & the environment
China's CO2 emissions underwent a 25% drop during lockdown, but the rebound has now brought them even higher than pre-lockdown levels.
The IMF now expects 2020 global GDP to decline by 4.9%, versus the 3.0% fall it expected in April, while the OECD expects a 6.0% contraction.
According to ILO estimates in 2018, the share of informal jobs ranged between 85% in Africa and 40% in Latin America.
While the health impact of fake news is hard to measure, it may have contributed to a reported spike in non-identified cases in some states.
Travel restrictions by the end of March 2020 resulted in 67 million fewer international tourist arrivals and a loss of USD80bn of services exports.
Food & agriculture
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Expert Briefings capture the unbiased analysis of expert independent business leaders and academics on events as they happen. The reality of events and their implications are reported without restriction, as contributors are anonymous.
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- What are the global and local implications and predictions of COVID-19?
The Malala Fund estimates that 10 million more girls globally will be out of secondary school following the COVID-19 crisis. [SOURCE]
Education income is expected to fall sharply in 2020, with many jobs lost. The market contributed 6.8 billion dollars in the year to June 2019. [SOURCE]
Household spending on online education has expanded rapidly and is expected to grow by more than 12% this year. One leading online education platform, China Online Education Group, saw revenue rise 52% year-on-year during the first quarter. [SOURCE]
- Vaccine development has a 94% failure rate, but with some 169 vaccine candidates, a few successful ones should emerge. [SOURCE]
- 47 million women are projected to be unable to access contraception in the next six months if COVID-19 disruptions continue, resulting in up to 7 million unintended pregnancies, according to the UNFPA. [SOURCE]
- Self-isolation and household quarantines, in addition to manual contact tracing, reduced transmission by 64%, in contrast to, for example, mass testing of 5% of a country's population twice a week, which reduced transmission by 2%. [SOURCE]
Human rights & inequality
- Despite being over-represented in professions at the frontlines of the pandemic, only 25% of the experts quoted in the media coverage of the outbreak are women and they comprise only 20% of the WHO Emergency Committee on COVID-19. [SOURCE]
- The UN has warned that every three months of lockdown could result in 15 million more cases of domestic abuse globally. [SOURCE]
- Lockdown measures have increased intimate partner violence by an estimated 20–30% in a variety of countries, according to UN Women. In the next six months an estimated 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence are anticipated by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). [SOURCE]
- Governments [in Gulf states] will use broad public satisfaction with their handling of the crisis so far to promote acceptance of unprecedented austerity measures e.g. Saudis will pay 15% value-added tax on goods. [SOURCE]
- 0.15% Proportion of COVID-19 funds earmarked for gender-sensitive programmes in the first half of 2020. [SOURCE]
- Trump's approval rating is currently trending downwards; polls are suggesting many disapprove of his handling of COVID-19 and of the 'Black Lives Matter' protests. Yet while Biden is 10-12 points ahead, much can change before November. [SOURCE]
- The UN's global Central Emergency Response Fund and Country-Based Pooled Funds have collectively released over 108 million dollars to 35 countries affected by the disease. [SOURCE]
- Global trade volumes fell by 3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020 and the WTO sees them falling by 18.5% in the second quarter. The WTO suggests that if trade volumes grow by 2.5% in the second half of 2020, they will fall by 13% in the full year. [SOURCE]
- The EU’s relationship with China has become more fraught following the outbreak of COVID-19 this year… China is very important economically to the EU. In 2017 it was the second-largest destination for EU goods exports behind the United States (10% compared to 20%) and the most important source of imports (20%). [SOURCE]
- Around three-quarters of households bought groceries online during the COVID-19 outbreak, and 15% stated that they intended to continue using online platforms after the epidemic had been brought under control. [SOURCE]
- China's share of global value added in highly R&D-intensive industries -- aircraft, pharmaceuticals, computers, electronics, software and scientific R&D -- rose from 12% in 2003 to 21% in 2018. The US share fell to 32% from 38% and the EU share to 19% from 25%. [SOURCE]
- COVID-19 pushes advances in commercial drone tech. In Ireland, since the start of April, Manna Aero has begun to deliver essential supplies and medicine to vulnerable people, with the capability to make 100 deliveries of up to 4 kilogrammes per day within a four-mile radius. [SOURCE]
Military & security
- The enactment of measures normally reserved for civil emergencies means [Gulf] governments have effectively placed societies in an undeclared form of martial law. The rolling nature of the measures means they could become more repressive the longer the coronavirus threat persists. [SOURCE]
- US Department of Health and Human Services has reported that between February and May there were 50% more cyberattacks on the US healthcare sector compared with the year-earlier period. [SOURCE]
- After a short break at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel has resumed air strikes, reportedly hitting Iranian militias, convoys and bases in Syria and Iraq up to ten times over the past three months. [SOURCE]
Law & judicial
- The Qatari government announced that people who do not report a COVID-19 infection or who violate quarantine could be jailed for three years, while the Bahraini government announced the same sanction for violators of the ban on public gatherings of more than five people. [SOURCE]
- Kuwait also announced a three-year prison sentence for violators of the eleven-hour curfew imposed from 5pm to 4am nightly after large numbers reportedly ignored earlier calls to avoid social gatherings. [SOURCE]
- The public prosecutor in Saudi Arabia warned that anyone violating or inciting others on social media to violate the curfew would be jailed for five years and fined up to 800,000 dollars. [SOURCE]
Energy & the environment
- China's CO2 emissions underwent an unprecedented 25% drop during the COVID-19 lockdown, but the rebound has now brought them even higher than pre-lockdown levels. Official data show China's CO2 emissions increasing by 4-5% year-on-year in May. [SOURCE]
- In April (when there were lockdowns worldwide), Accenture surveyed 3,000 consumers across different ages from 15 countries about their consumption practices. Some 45% of respondents said they have started to make more sustainable shopping choices and will continue to do so in the future. [SOURCE]
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that keeping the world's average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires a decline in global CO2 emissions well before 2030. The Glasgow COP26 climate conference, scheduled for November 2021, will be the first opportunity since UN-led talks in Paris in 2015 for countries to negotiate an increase in their mitigation plans. [SOURCE]
- The IMF now expects 2020 global GDP to decline by 4.9%, versus the 3.0% fall it expected in April, while the OECD expects a 6.0% contraction. These assume falling case rates in major economies; if not, the OECD estimates global GDP will contract by 7.6%. [SOURCE]
- Before COVID-19, household debt was already high and growing fast, reaching an estimated 128% of household income and 56% of GDP last year. [SOURCE]
- Driven by the pandemic and restrictive lockdowns, China's GDP plunged by 6.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, while euro-area GDP fell by 2.7% and US GDP by 1.2% on the same basis. [SOURCE]
- According to ILO estimates in 2018, the share of informal jobs ranged between 85% in Africa and 40% in Latin America; if workers stay away or informal operations are temporarily closed, could reduce food supplies and increase prices. Historically, spiking food prices can lead to protests, which would be especially dangerous as the coronavirus could spread. [SOURCE]
- China's factory-gate prices fell by around 4% year-on-year in May while industrial output rose by around 4%. [SOURCE]
- $640bn estimated fall in global fashion sales due to the pandemic. [SOURCE]
- While the health impact of fake news is hard to measure, it may have contributed to a reported spike in non-identified cases in states such as Tanzania, allegedly overwhelming some health facilities and undoubtedly increasing tensions with regional neighbours. [SOURCE]
- Print media were suspended in Oman and the UAE and on April 1 the Emirati authorities warned that people who circulate 'rumours' about COVID-19 could be imprisoned for one year under the Federal Law to Combat Cybercrime. [SOURCE]
- China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying today criticised Twitter for shutting down yesterday 170,000 accounts linked to a coordinated disinformation campaign by the Chinese government. Hua added that Twitter should shut down accounts that "smear" China's reputation overseas. [SOURCE]
- Some religious figures' defiance of restrictions on worship resonated with conservative social segments more widely, where government messaging has struggled to cut through. [SOURCE]
- Although this will reduce virus transmission, the economic impacts of a drop in religious tourism will be severe: the Ministry of Tourism has estimated that the sector as a whole will take a 35-45% hit this year. [SOURCE]
- Rejecting official WHO advice, Tanzanian President Magufuli has claimed that God-fearing Christians do not need to worry about the coronavirus and kept churches open so that Tanzanians can pray to defeat the 'devil' of COVID-19. [SOURCE]
- According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 100% of tourism destinations worldwide had imposed travel restrictions by the end of March 2020, resulting in 67 million fewer international tourist arrivals and a loss of USD80bn of services exports. [SOURCE]
- The hardest-hit sectors, notably tourism and the service industry, tend to have a majority-female workforce, and the US Department of Labor estimates that women held 60% of the jobs lost in the first wave of COVID-19 layoffs. [SOURCE]
- By mid-May, 90% of all tourism sector workers [in Jamaica] (some 153,000 people) had been furloughed. The loss of revenue is predicted to be around USD155mn between March and September. [SOURCE]
Food & agriculture
- 135 million people faced ‘crisis’ levels of hunger in 2019. This figure could nearly double to 265 million by end-2020. [SOURCE]
- Most African countries are net food importers, putting their food-insecure populations at particular risk of tighter or pricier global supplies. [SOURCE]
- G20 agriculture ministers have agreed not to impose export restrictions or extra taxes on food purchased by international humanitarian agencies. [SOURCE]