How COVID-19 hits most vulnerable people, study


The inability of children to continuously attend school will likely contribute to a further inequality of educational performance between pupils from socially advantaged pupils and socially disadvantaged ones. Young people are at greater risk of social exclusion compared to the rest of the population because they neither develop their skills through education, nor they accumulate experience by engaging in the labor market, shows the socio-economic impact assessment of the pandemic crisis, led by UNDP Moldova, conducted with UNFPA, in collaboration with the State Chancellery and in close collaboration with the rest of UN System organizations.

The study revelers that women have allocated more time to housework, as well as monitoring and assisting their children during remote schooling, while older people displayed more feelings of loneliness and concerns about the healthcare system, IPN reports.

“There is no easy fix in overcoming the pandemic and building back better, but it is in the power of Moldovan people to overcome it united across different ages, regions and sectors. Building bridges between generations – intergenerational solidarity – blended with strong collaboration between different sectors can make the difference in the lives that we may save and in the wellbeing of the most in need,” Nigina Abaszada, UNFPA Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova, said in the conference to present the study.

According to the study, freelancers have seen decline in sales, restricted access to raw materials and decline in domestic demand and have serious concerns about declines in liquidity/cashflows.  Returning migrants have been forced to return home or re-evaluate their work prospects, with many of them losing their jobs.

Poor households have seen high job losses, aggravating tight budgets. They are reducing food in response to the pandemic, despite having a poorer diet. 1 in 5 poor households reduced health and education expenses in order to cope with the pandemic fallout.

The study proposes a series of policy recommendations, among them being to establish a system of telehealth services to benefit the most vulnerable groups in COVID-19 context; to increase in social support payments and expansion of the social protection coverage, to safeguard the most vulnerable, the older persons, with increased social support, by hiring additional social assistants and/or food aid; to develop a domestic violence response program; to bridge to learning for vulnerable children;  to provide support for reintegrating and recruiting workforce.

The assessment was conducted during May – October 2020 and was conducted using available studies, data available of the National Bureau of Statistics, a survey of Magenta Consulting, part of the UNDP study – conducted during August-September 2020 among 390 citizens and 450 companies – so as alternative sources of data.