Hanoi (VNA) - COVID-19 has had a serious impact on vulnerable households, especially those of ethnic minority groups, those with members working in the non-official sector, or those with immigrants, according to a report released at a workshop in Hanoi on July 23.

Jointly prepared by the UNDP, UN Women, and the Centre for Analyses and Forecasting at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, the report highlights the pandemic’s socio-economic influence on vulnerable households and businesses in Vietnam, with consideration also given to gender factors.

It said the impacts led to an increase in temporary poverty, especially in ethnic minority households.

It underscored that COVID-19 caused considerable declines in revenue for both business households and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, forcing them to slow down operations and cut staff.

Addressing the workshop, Caitlin Wiese, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, highlighted that the objective of the joint assessment is to inform the Government’s response and recovery to COVID-19.

"This is the first assessment that brings evidence of COVID-19 impact on vulnerable households and businesses, simulates the impact on poverty, and captures  information on early recovery," she said.

She stressed the importance of early, anticipatory, adaptive and agile  actions of the Government combined with innovation of the people as key to the country’s initial success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and limiting its negative socio-economic impacts.

Dr Tran Toan Thang from the National Centre for Socio-economic Information and Forecasting (NCIF) at the Ministry of Planning and Investment said COVID-19 had a rapid and strong impact on the global and Vietnamese economy, while possibly triggering the greatest crisis in many decades, even more so than the 2008 financial crisis.

Economic, trade, and investment have been interrupted, while the world financial market has become unstable and new economic and geo-politic trends have emerged and been forecast to grow in the future, in particular the reshaping of global supply chains.

Control of the pandemic still faces difficulties around the world, while many countries may be subject to another outbreak due to opening their economy too early, he said.

He held that the prospects for economic growth in the second half of the year have been lowered dramatically, and stressed the need for market broadening, investment promotion, and consumption encouragement as key measures to drive growth and contribute to the recovery process.

Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Chief Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, said that if the consequences of the pandemic are not tackled comprehensively, COVID-19 will leave severe health and socio-economic effects that may cause gender inequality and harm the outcomes of efforts over recent decades to empower women.

She expressed a hope that the report’s assessments, with consideration given to gender factors, will contribute to the Government’s efforts in adopting solutions suitable to the specific demand of women and girls, while preserving and promoting achievements made in gender equality and women’s empowerment./.