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Researcher from Inclusive growth in Mozambique programme interviewed on COVID-19 impact in Mozambique

Sam Jones, UNU-WIDER Research Fellow, comments on possible socioeconomic effects of coronavirus in Mozambique to Zitamar News.

Sam Jones, UNU-WIDER Research Fellow and researcher of the Inclusive growth in Mozambique programme, spoke to Zitamar News for an article on the possible socioeconomic effects of the coronavirus in Mozambique.

In the article published on 24 March 2020, Jones comments: ‘Probably the most immediate concern is “panic buying” and speculative behaviour as logistics options to import from South Africa are curtailed.’

He also points out: ‘The looming global recession and weaker global economy process will almost certainly lead to substantially lower exports, and prompt investors (e.g. in LNG) to delay further investments.’

Jones also foresees a slowdown of the services sector and underlines the importance of a well-managed response.

‘A badly managed lockdown certainly could lead to civil unrest if no safety net is available. However, a moderate lockdown alongside guaranteed supply chains and some reasonable community-level aid, such as distributing basic food, could probably avoid major unrest – and actually improve the situation for many people.’

‘Clear and credible communication by the government – on both health and economic effects [of Covid-19] – to manage expectations, alongside the creation of an urban safety net, could help ameliorate the impact on the poorest. More will be needed the worse it gets. That said, this is completely uncharted territory, and it is very difficult to look beyond one week, let alone one month.’

Read the full article online

Zitamar News, 24 March 2020: Mozambique must protect the poor to avoid the worst effects of coronavirus