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Ethiopia Loses 139 Billion Birr if Virus-Related Restrictions
Continue for 6 Months
May 14, 2020
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A quick win intervention together with a recovery plan is imperative to minimize COVID-19
induced economic and social crises that could cost Ethiopia over 139 billion birr if the virus-
related restrictions stay for six months, a researcher said.

If COVID-19 related restrictions stay for six months, Ethiopia could lose around 139.2 billion
Birr and  GDP of 204 billion Birr.

Speaking at the 5th virtual discussion of scholars, Science and Higher Education Minister
Professor Hirut Woldemariam said the ministry has been carrying out rigorous research on the
impact of COVID-19 with recommendations.

The pandemic has already inflicted huge damage on the hospitality, tourism, and
transportation sectors and the situation will obviously accelerate unemployment and decrease
in per capita income of the country, she added.

Appreciating the commendable measures the government has been taking, the minster said,
noting that more government intervention is needed in major areas.

“As you know our government has taken good measures by imposing partial lockdown since
the outbreak. We have especially witnessed how the government is determined to respond to
the economic crisis through ejecting financial liquidity for banks and canceling excessive tax,”
she elaborated.

However, the economic impact of COVID-19 could not be underestimated unless the
government enhances more intervention.

According to her, Ethiopia is forced to revise its 10 years of economic development strategic
plan due to COVID-19.

A researcher who presented a paper on the economic effect of  COVID-19, Dr. Tadele Ferede
said the economy will experience loss of around 139.2 billion Birr if the virus continues its
existence under a mild scenario for six months.

Tadele recommended scaling up safety net programs, an increase in domestic production,
and maintaining uninterrupted supply chains.

Plan and Development Deputy Commissioner, Endalkachew Sime said out of the 7.5 million
people working in urban areas over 700, 000 would be impacted by COVID-19 in three months.
He added that Ethiopia had projected a 9 percent growth in the 2019/20 fiscal year.

However, the projection will fall by 2.8 percent due to COVID-19 in three months' stay and that
will result in 70 billion Birr loss, the deputy commissioner pointed out.