The report is a preliminary rapid socioeconomic assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Eswatini and the implications it has for achieving national development objectives enshrined in the National Development Plan, Strategic Roadmap and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The key message of the report is the exponential growth in new infections with the highest being the productive age group which means there is an implication for labour supply.
The Rapid Socioeconomic Assessment is an undertaking of the United Nations (UN) in collaboration with the Economics Association of Eswatini. Under the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines on COVID-19, it is a product of the efforts of a wide UN team, comprising the United Nations Country Team Task Team comprising the UNDP, World Food programme (WFP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an inter-agency technical team comprising the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO), UNDP, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), UNFPA, WFP and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) working in collaboration with the Economics Association of Eswatini. This team was led by the UNDP, as UN’s global technical lead on socio-economic response to COVID-19 under the global UN framework for the immediate socioeconomic response to COVID-19.
The report is a contribution to the knowledge products on the COVID 19 pandemic in the country. Given the uncertainty and volatility in conditions of the Corona virus outbreak and gaps in data supply and analysis, this knowledge product is not offered as accurate predictions of the future but as an evidence-based estimate of likely scenarios to inform socioeconomic response and recovery planning.
The rapid assessment is aligned with the “UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19” launched by the Secretary-General in April 2020. The framework is one of the three critical components of the UN’s efforts to save lives, protect people, and build healthier communities through health response, led by the World Health Organization, and the humanitarian response led by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It addresses aspects of the framework, in terms of the people we must reach under the five pillars of the proposed UN Development System response, namely health first, protecting people, economic response and recovery, macroeconomic response and multilateral collaboration; and community cohesion and community resilience.