Poverty and Pandemic Response in Zimbabwe
Wellington G. Bonga
Journal Title:Journal of Economics and Finance
Zimbabwe has been in macroeconomic doldrums for a long time with the struggle still persisting. To date no single economic indicator points to the stability path, hence calling for proper policy stance to be adopted. For the current year, 2020, a world pandemic has emerged with possible serious economic impact to many nations, and Zimbabwe in not an exception. The world pandemic has been declared by WHO, and now commonly known as COVID-19, having started in China towards the end of 2019. Zimbabwean economic situation has on its own caused great impact on the welfare of its citizens including the working class. Outlook for the Zimbabwean economy remains gloomy as domestic vulnerabilities persists while COVID-19 pandemic poses new challenges. The paper argues that, while the impact of the pandemic are unavoidable, the existing poverty levels brought by decades of macroeconomic instability drives the situation higher. The study recommends proper coordination on policies and even implementation of reforms as a way to ensure the economy is in a steady state path of development. A steady economy is in a better position to fight pandemics and epidemics than a fragile state. Fragile states are never in a position to manage disasters. For the public, when the government fails, it is perhaps time to recall the social virtues of locallevel resilience and self-reliance to lesson impact of pandemics, epidemics and natural disasters. The private sector is recommended to quickly act on possible measures as a contribution to economic development and avoid ripple effects of pandemics.