Samia Satti Osman Mohamed Nour

  • While suffering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sudan simultaneously suffered from a critical economic crisis caused by economic and political instability that started even before the pandemic began. Therefore, it is hard to separate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from the impact of the critical economic crisis.
  • During the pandemic, workers in Sudan experienced changes in employment status. These were mainly changes in main jobs, sector of employment and economic activities, and working conditions, particularly the number of working hours and households’ monthly wage and income.
  • Between April 2021 and August 2021, the employment rate decreased for the agriculture, fishing or mining, and health sectors. Personal net monthly wages also decreased for agriculture, fishing or mining, manufacturing, construction or utilities, retail or wholesale, transportation and storage, and other services. 
  • Between April 2021 and August 2021, the unemployment rate (according to the standard definition) increased for the manufacturing, transportation and storage, accommodation and food services, and health sectors. The unemployment rate (according to the broad definition) increased for the agriculture, fishing or mining, manufacturing, accommodation and food services, and health sectors.
  • Workers suffered from temporary or permanent layoffs/suspensions (without pay), delays in wage payment, reduced earnings or delayed payments, and changes in personal net monthly wage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Businesses suffered from temporary or permanent closures due to factors related to COVID-19 or a reduction in business hours due to government mandates related to the pandemic. During the pandemic, workers also suffered from a limited provision of social protection, social safety nets, and social insurance.
  • The policy recommendation is to increase government support to manage the impact of COVID-19 on the labor market and the provision of social protection for workers in Sudan and MENA countries. Specifically, we recommend: (a) introducing measures to support the demand for labor by providing new employment incentives through the provision of hiring subsidies and improved access to formal and regular jobs in all sectors; (b) increasing direct government support by increasing monthly wage subsidies to support all workers (vulnerable workers in particular) across all sectors; (c) supporting social protection for households and workers across all firms and sectors; and (d) increasing government support to firms and business enterprises by offering business loans, salary subsidies, and reduced/delayed taxes, along with the subsidized provision of specific products, inputs, or services for firms and business enterprises in Sudan.

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