NOW that the Covid-19 pandemic has afflicted more than 180 countries, the world will also face a serious economic crisis. The effects will still be around long after the virus disappears.

An initial assessment of the impact that Covid-19 will have has been carried out by the International Labour Organisation. According to the ILO assessment, almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide because of a decline in economic activity.

It estimates between 8.8 million and 35 million additional people worldwide will be pushed below the poverty line if the current situation persists. One shudders even at the thought about the ravages this pandemic will cause.

Pakistan’s economy will also be affected by Covid-19. The signs are already there for all to see as major cities have ground to a halt because of near lockdown situation.

It is the federal and provincial governments’ responsibility to come up with plans to deal with the situation. As things stand, our economy was not as healthy as others in the region. The pandemic is a testing time for the country’s leadership. One prays they have the foresight and wisdom to steer the nation safely out of these troubling times.

Abdul Khalique Panhyar

Karachi

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2020