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The impact of COVID-19 to the world’s economy

“COVID-19 crisis is the most significant test humanity has faced since World War II. What developing countries need, in addition to support for their health sectors, is support to keep their economies afloat and protect micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from going out of business. For every bankruptcy, closed store, unpicked crop or drop in online orders, people will lose jobs and families, in many cases, lose their only income.”

- Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

“In many parts of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has badly hurt companies of all kinds— but particularly those with smaller operating margins, such as micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Business and liquidity have dried up, jobs have been lost, and entrepreneurs have dramatically curtailed if not closed their businesses—at least temporarily. How can small businesses and financial institutions recover? The answer is critical: Small businesses account for two-thirds of the globe’s jobs and half of its GDP."

- IFC Insights

“With economic activity almost at a standstill, around half of the jobs in all of Africa are at risk and 48% fewer people will be lifted out of poverty. Many businesses and informal traders may not survive the restrictions that are already weighing on trade.”


“Many small and medium businesses might not be able to survive the coronavirus crisis. In these trying times, small and medium businesses will be the worst hit. We are the most vulnerable when a crisis like this happens and I can assure you that quite a number of small and medium businesses will go under after this crisis. The small and medium business sector had already started losing N9bn every week due to the lockdown. In the past three weeks when the Lagos State Government announced business shutdown, before the Federal Government’s lockdown directive, the sector had lost an estimated N27bn.”

- National President of the Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Dr. Femi Egbesola

“Africa’s economy will be devastated. In other words, we are going to see an increase in the number of people who are actually poor or below the poverty,”

-Stephen Karingi, the director of the trade division at the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa

“47% of small businesses have less than two weeks of cash liquidity on hand, with restaurants and retail operating at the slimmest margins.”

- JPMorgan Chase Institute

“This is not a financial crisis. This is a human crisis. this is not a question of just bringing liquidity to the financial systems, which, of course, is necessary. We need to support directly those that lose their jobs, those that lose their salaries, the small companies that cannot operate anymore, all those that are the fabrics of our societies, and we need to make sure that we keep thousands afloat, we keep small companies afloat, we keep all societies afloat.”

- Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General