Pandemic erodes living standards in developing countries, study shows

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp decline in living standards and rising food insecurity in developing countries across the globe, according to a new study by an international team of economists.

The study, published Feb. 5 in the journal Science Advances, provides the first in-depth view of the health crisis’s initial socioeconomic effects in low- and middle-income countries, using detailed micro data collected from tens of thousands of households across nine countries. 

The researchers conducted 16 nationally and sub-nationally representative phone surveys from April through July 2020 in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. In all of these countries, respondents reported drops in employment, income, and access to markets and services, translating into high levels of food insecurity. Many households reported being unable to meet basic nutritional needs. 

Read more about the study on YaleNews here.