The impact of COVID-19 in India and pathways to recovery

The ongoing COVID-19 health crisis has affected lives across the world and caused a massive economic shock. The situation in India is particularly dire, with a deadly second wave of infections sweeping across the country. Last year, India imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the world to limit virus transmission, which led to severe economic losses and hardships for millions. The government will have to now draw on evidence from the first lockdown, and introduce new policies that carefully balance the saving of lives with the need to protect livelihoods. To help policy stakeholders understand the severity of the crisis, IGC India is gathering new evidence around the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. These studies focus primarily on three themes: labour markets, households, and health and wellbeing.

The International Growth Centre (IGC) and Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), in collaboration with CORENET, are organising an online conference to present new research and lessons for policy around these key thematic areas across three days from 5 – 7 May 2021 at 16:00 – 17:35 IST or 11:30 – 13:05 BST.

You can register for the online conference here.

The impact of COVID-19 on labour markets – 5 May 2021

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns are disrupting the lives of millions of workers through layoffs and reduction in working hours and wages. At the same time, India witnessed one of the largest exoduses of labour migrants, a large population usually employed in informal, low-paid jobs and with no or limited access to social protection measures and job security. Additionally, COVID-19 has increased the vulnerability of women’s employment. This webinar discusses evidence on the short- and long-term impacts of the previous lockdown on labour migrants, policy responses to mitigate labour market risk from the crisis, and coping mechanisms adopted by vulnerable groups.

The economic impact of COVID-19 on households – 6 May 2021

Nearly 84% of Indian households witnessed a decrease in income during the initial lockdown and the months following it. While the well-off can manage, there are grave concerns about how the poor can cope and survive future lockdowns. This webinar explores how households coped with the economic effects of lockdowns, and whether existing and new welfare schemes are effective enough to support households that have lost their livelihoods and face future curbs in economic activity, especially in rural areas.

The impact of COVID-19 on health and wellbeing – 7 May 2021

The nationwide lockdown last year disrupted food supply chains, and access to food was a very real concern for millions of households. India has some of the world’s largest food security schemes to address malnutrition and hunger. While the initiatives seem promising, the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges in the effective delivery of midday meals and the public distribution systems (PDS), especially for migrant families. This webinar reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on household food consumption and food security over the past year, dietary practices of women and children in rural Bihar, the financial status of households, and access to government schemes.