This publication reveals how significant the impact the pandemic brought on Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) with more than half of all surveys and assessments done in the country focusing on this context. The economic growth contracted from 5,02% in 2019 and dramatically declined to a negative growth of 2.07% in 2020. 24 million people have worked shorter hours, 1.7 million people have been furloughed, while 2.56 million have lost their jobs. Poverty and inequalities (SDG 1, SDG 10) were also featured immensely in all surveys and assessments done in the country. National poverty rate rose from 9.22% in 2019 to 10,19 in 2020, representing a 3-year setback. The COVID-19 exacerbates the inequality faced by vulnerable groups including migrant workers, refugees and people with disabilities. The national data shows Gini Ratio increased to from 0.380 in 2019 to 0.385 in 2020.
Now, with only nine years left in the ‘Decade of Action’ to realise the SDGs by 2030, renewed ambition, mobilisation, leadership and collective action are needed, not just to beat COVID- 19 but to recover better and together, which entails winning the race against climate change, decisively tackling poverty and inequality, truly empowering all women and girls and creating more inclusive and equitable societies everywhere.