A prolonged coronavirus pandemic will hit the socially disadvantaged the most and necessitate lifelines for business and households.
In the Solomon Islands the local chamber of commerce and industry (SICCI) has conducted a survey with business and industry leaders to get a better understanding of the current situation and the challenges incurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the preparatory measures in the country.
It is understood the survey asked about conditions of working, including seeking to get answers to remote working or partial on site work.
The survey was also believed to determine whether there had been any dismissals from work or planned dismissals arising from the coronavirus impact.
Those answering the survey were, additionally, asked what their main challenges were, whether cash flow, worker absence due to illness or government orders, disrupted supply chains, business partners being affected, clients being affected with dampened demand, or difficulty in loan repayments.
It is said the survey will help to quantify the impact on business especially on the number of job-losses and, in turn, help SICCI inform decision on necessary interventions.
The SICCI survey is seen as important and follows a warning last week from the IMF that the coronavirus pandemic was already causing an economic crisis unlike any other in the past century.
As I see it, the SIG will need to help provide “lifelines” for business and households to avoid serious scarring of the economy that would make recovery after the pandemic much more difficult.
In Australia, today, Reuters reported that Australian public life could be constrained for another year because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
If the coronavirus threat is prolonged in the Solomon Islands the economy and the people will be hard hit but none more than the socially disadvantaged by unemployment, age, disability and all the communities battling climate change while living by subsistence means in the rural areas of the country.
Disadvantaged people will suffer the consequences of the disastrous pandemic the most and become more socially marginalized.
The longer the pandemic continues there could also be profound long-term health implications for the socially disadvantaged.
The challenges facing the Solomon Islands government at this unprecedented time in history are immense and the aid and financial assistance by traditional and new found partners will be absolutely essential in seeing the Solomon Islands stays the course and prevent the dire consequences for the mass of people I have touched upon.