Narrative Summit: Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin Discussing The Economic Effect of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has been causing damage to the whole world, starting with people’s lives and their jobs to the global economy.

Narrative Summit held digital talks under the name of “Reshaping Norms”; one of the important speakers was Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin who is the United Nations Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda. Dr. Mohieldin discussed the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy and people’s lives and the country’s situation when it gets through this crisis.


How Dr. Mohieldin Sees The World After COVID-19

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin began his talk on how he views the world after the Coronavirus had happened; he stated that the pandemic has negatively affected people’s lives as the health and education sectors were not properly prioritized by the country.

One of the problems we face after every crisis is that we put it behind us, as it never happened without learning from it. We are supposed to apply these learned lessons to invest more in the previously mentioned sectors. Dr. Mohieldin clarified that there should be a follow-up mechanism and the public should be involved in the decision making, as they will have no tolerance in the future regarding any threats against their health, environmental pollution, and climate change.


COVID-19 Global Statistics

The pandemic has been infecting people and causing high rates of death continuously. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global rate of the infected people with COVID-19 is 2.4 Million individuals, and death rates have reached around 165.000 deaths. Therefore, there should be a huge investment in the healthcare sector.

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin also states that the Arab world and Egypt need to invest more in education and healthcare while improving the infrastructure of the country such as roads and services. The government also needs to put into consideration the artificial intelligence and modern science as these two need more attention along with improving the data infrastructure and anything related to storage and security.

He noted that this pandemic crisis had grabbed their attention to notice that people need the state’s support and should have the right to have it. Meanwhile, this is happening through pension systems, insurance, material subsidies, and financial status, but the individual income must be put into consideration as it only meets the minimum needs.

3 Main Effects For Coronavirus Crisis

Dr. Mohieldin added that this period of the pandemic we’re living in has put a light on three important points.

  • First is how the institutions behave towards this type of crisis, which we witnessed from many countries towards the healthcare system and how some countries’ crisis response have failed while others succeeded.
  • Second, the mechanism of acceleration; meaning what was destined to happen in the future, happened within a few months, such as information technology, education sectors, financial transactions, and conducting business. Dr. Mohieldin also noted that the government should pay attention to the local development and domestic manufacturing of the most wanted products and it should follow the global standards.
  • Third, the balance of economic relations and the relative rise of the emergence of some economies.


Employment during the Coronavirus

This period will mark a high unemployment rate and it will continue for a while. The consequences of the hiatus of the jobs’ market should be dealt with so people would have more job opportunities. The International Labor Organization (ILO) stated that 195 million jobs will be lost due to the recession, which is 10 times the jobs lost in the 2008 financial crisis.


Coronavirus Economy and SMEs

Dr. Mohieldin asserted on the importance of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) that hold around 90% of projects in Egypt, which is almost similar to the enterprises of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

SMEs were proved to have a high percentage of the labor market as they range between 45% and 75%. Due to the current situation, 75% of the SMEs were affected by the pandemic and global recession while 5% of them had an increase of demands for their services, and some SMEs were not affected.

Even though SMEs have advantages like flexibility and labor intensity, they have disadvantages like training, the ability to adapt to the circumstances, financing services, research and development capabilities, and what they gain from the digital transformation.

Dr. Mohieldin also noted that we need more financing initiatives than the ones done by the banking and non-banking sectors.

This change is a global one and we hope we see more investments to be able to get through this crisis.

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