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Gender inequality has been a persistent (albeit steadily improving) problem for years. The COVID-induced crisis put women in a disproportionately disadvantaged position, jeopardizing decades of progress achieved towards equality between men and women.
The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent stringent lockdown measures have had a drastic toll on the Georgian economy. The economic downturn has significantly affected the resilience of local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), whose sales decreased by almost 13% (YoY) in the first two quarters of 2020. These negative impacts of the economic contraction have been particularly severe for Women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (WSMEs).
The lockdowns and trade restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in shortages of some major food commodities on international and local markets. In this policy brief, we discuss and analyze Georgia's response to the crisis in terms of food security and agricultural policy. Furthermore, we provide recommendations to ensure fewer disruptions in food supply chains and low volatility in food prices.
In the past several months the world has been rocked by profound economic and social turbulence. The COVID-19 epidemic has forced many countries around the world into widespread emergency lockdowns. Economic activity plunged dramatically in February-March 2020, with rapid indicators showing strong contractions in retail, restaurant business, and passenger transport.
Beyond its impact on the healthcare system, the COVID-19 pandemic via economic shocks has already reached labor markets throughout every economy. As of 1 April 2020, ILO estimates indicate a substantial rise in global unemployment, leading to 6.7% decline in working hours in the second quarter of 2020, which is equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.
Images of empty shelves in grocery stores worldwide have emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, this has had little to do with an actual shortage of food products but rather has reflected the behavior of panicked consumers who are hoarding food. While some earlier publications perceived no imminent threats from the pandemic to global food security, more recent articles called attention to proper policy responses to reduce the potential negative impacts of COVID-19 on local and global food systems and food security.