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Covid-19 has cost developing countries dear

Paper outlines health and food security pressures early in pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated economies in developing countries, with dire repercussions for health and food security, a paper has found. 

The paper appeared in Science Advances on 5 February and was penned by a group of researchers from the United States, Europe, Australia, and Kenya. 

“The economic crisis precipitated by Covid-19 may become as much a public health and societal disaster as the pandemic itself,” the authors warn.

They surveyed more than 33,000 households in 9 low- and middle-income countries, of which five—Ghana, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone—are in Africa. The surveys were carried out between April and June 2020, while African Covid-19 cases were relatively few.

Two-thirds of the respondents reported income losses and 30 per cent job losses. Almost half said they’d missed meals, or eaten less than usual. 

The survey’s drops in employment and income “rival or exceed” those experienced in rich nations, the authors add.