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Weekly Wrap - Week 03, October

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How can Sri Lanka deal with COVID-19 induced poverty? Will WFH continue even after the pandemic? Read all about it in this week's wrap.

Three ways Sri Lanka can deal with COVID-19 induced poverty

Global poverty is expected to increase for the first time in over 20 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 115 million people worldwide will fall into extreme poverty this year. So, this particular ‘End Poverty Day’ will be marked not with celebration as in years past, but with reflection and recommitment. We can reflect on the achievements of this island nation over the past few decades. 

 

Moving towards a more sustainable foreign debt

Achieving a more sustainable foreign debt profile is a national priority and economic imperative. Borrowing at high interest rates to repay debt will only worsen the country’s external financial vulnerability. International financial assistance from multilateral financial institutions and friendly countries is vital to lessen the severity of the problem, boost international confidence and prevent the escalation of interest rates for borrowing.

 

Using urban mobility and big data to track the pandemic

An analysis of data from popular transit applications indicates that there is a relationship between increased mobility and COVID-19 cases, but more information is needed to make a definitive link. As countries slowly recover from the pandemic, we are seeing a significant shift in transport patterns. Using publicly available transport data from several transit applications (including Waze Connected Citizens Program, Google and Apple) we found that in Southeast Asia ridership fell by over 90% in March compared to pre-pandemic patterns in January.

 

Rethinking work-from-home after COVID-19

The implications of working from home on costs, productivity, and work-life balance are just now being understood by workers and companies around the world. Will this new awareness transcend the pandemic? The pandemic has been less catastrophic for office workers than for those in manual and customer-facing occupations. Many professionals, managers, mid-level staff, and assistants have been able to shift from the office to their home and connect to co-workers and clients through email, chat, document sharing, and video apps. For these workers, the pandemic has caused disruption to their work, but not termination.

Writer

Amanda Senewiratne

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