COVID-19 economic impacts and social protection in African low and middle income countries

The COVID-19 pandemic massively slowed down worldwide economic growth and poverty increased. At the onset of the pandemic, many governments put in place various containment measures such as restricting the free movements of people both within and between countries, and closing non-essential businesses and schools, among others. Food systems have been hit internally and externally by limiting international food supply and export earnings and later through economic slowdowns. The risks of food insecurity are manifested through limited availability and accessibility of food, while accessibility was hampered by retail food prices and lower incomes due to job losses and reductions in working hours. This Policy Brief summarizes ZEF research on microeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for LMICs and the role of social protection.