Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic in OIC Member Countries
Date : 03 June 2020

The "Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic in OIC Member Countries: Prospects and Challenges" report investigates the potential impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on OIC member countries in various socio-economic fields and highlights the policy measures taken by the OIC member countries to address the negative impacts of this unprecedented crisis. According to the SESRIC COVID-19 Pandemic Database, more than 879 thousand confirmed cases and more than 22 thousand fatal cases have been reported in 56 OIC member countries as of 2 June 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal economic activity and daily life across the world. However, early evidence indicates that the social, health and economic impacts of the virus are being borne disproportionately by the poor and disadvantaged around the globe.

The OIC member countries are not immune to the waves of socio-economic shocks caused by the pandemic. Like many other countries around the world, the OIC member countries have started to witness the adverse and disproportionate effects of the virus on their economies and societies. The report highlights that the COVID-19 outbreak affected the societies and economies of OIC countries through a number of channels. While major disruptions in the global supply chains are observed as a result of the pandemic, preventive measures to contain the outbreak have led to further interruptions in economic activities. Falling commodity prices and financial market turmoil due to growing uncertainties caused a significant fall in asset prices and stock markets, further exacerbating the economic impacts and lowering average income levels.

The report highlights national practices in public health and safety measures, economic policy response and social policy measures taken by OIC member countries to counter the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on their economies and society at large. The overall government response to attain a high level of public health and safety outcomes has led to widespread closures of schools and workplaces, borders and imposing lockdowns and curfews to restrict the movement of people and enforce maximum social distancing measures. At the same time, most of the OIC member countries have introduced various economic stimulus packages to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and restore economic activities. Relatively higher income countries with better fiscal space are able to provide greater support for SMEs in the form of tax cuts or deferrals, salary payments and other benefits to avoid bankruptcy and to protect employment. Social policy response of OIC countries are varied and influenced by the extent of the national outbreak. However, many of the OIC countries have implemented either forced or voluntary social distancing measures and more than ten OIC countries implemented either full or partial lockdowns. Finally, the report identifies various economic and social policy responses and evidence-based recommendations at the national, regional and international levels.

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