One-third of Bangladeshi households saw at least one member lose job during the pandemic

The economic disruptions caused by Covid-19 saw around 77 percent of Bangladesh households lose a proportion of their average monthly income between April and October last year, with 34 percent having at least one member who lost their job, according to a study

Jun 25, 2021
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Bangladeshi households

The economic disruptions caused by Covid-19 saw around 77 percent of Bangladesh households lose a proportion of their average monthly income between April and October last year, with 34 percent having at least one member who lost their job, according to a study.

The pandemic severely hit low-income communities and the informal economy.

The impacted families consumed their savings and borrowed loans, leading to a decrease of 62 percent in their average monthly savings, as well as an increase in debt by 31 percent, joint research by the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, Brac and UN Women Bangladesh surmised.

The study dwelt on the changes in demographic, economic and social environments in the sub-districts and rural areas of Bangladesh, brought on by the rise in reverse migration during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dhaka Tribune reported.

Leah Zamore, the humanitarian crises program lead at the Center on International Cooperation of New York University, KAM Morshed, senior director of Brac, and Shoko Ishikawa, country representative of UN Women Bangladesh, were among the researchers.

The study also found that 25 percent of returnee migrant households expressed concern over repayment of their outstanding migration loans, amounting to a maximum of 700,000 Bangladeshi rupees. Forty-four percent of the respondents reported being unable to find any income-generating work.

The research has also discovered a higher incidence of child marriage in Bangladesh during the pandemic. Of the marriages that occurred during the period of the survey, more than 77 percent of the brides were below 18 years, and 61 percent below 16. Consequently, the expected crude birth rate in the rural areas went up.

“Bangladesh is one of those countries where schools remain closed for over one and a half years although digital learning opportunities for children are quite inadequate, particularly in the rural areas.

“Long periods of closed schools have implications on child marriage at an alarming rate, and economic challenges are forcing families to get their daughters married off. We need to ensure social protection measures so that families do not resort to such decisions,” said Ishikawa.

(SAM)