In order to explore the impact of COVID-19 on households and businesses in Kosovo, UNDP Kosovo, together with UN Women Kosovo and UNFPA Kosovo commissioned IDRA Research and Consulting - Kosova to conduct two surveys with 1,412 individuals and 202 business representatives.
The goal of this rapid assessment was to explore the effects of COVID-19 pandemic and the related measures on employment, income, revenue, access to basic services, and future expectations and to understand where the policies of the government and assistance of international partners should focus to help households and businesses recover.
Regarding employment, the physical place of work after COVID-19 pandemic during the quarantine has changed where more than a fourth of those employed at an institution/enterprise were working from home. Notably, more than twice more women (42%) than men (19%) were working from home.
Personal income from employment or self-employment has dropped to29% and 24% of respondents, respectively. While 49% of them declared the household income from different sources decreased, as well. Almost half of the households have experienced a decrease of 406 Euro a month on average.
In the meantime, more than half of surveyed businesses stopped their activity mainly due to government measures (81%), shortage of clients (24%), and difficulties to pay salaries of their employees (16%). Only about half of the businesses claimed that they continued to pay full salaries for their employees during the imposed measures.
Psychological health has also been impacted during this time, where more than a fourth (28%) of respondents declared to have coped with some psychological, mental, or emotional stress.
The impression of an increase in domestic violence appeared to be quite high as well. More than half of the respondents declared that they believe that domestic violence had increased since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Access to basic services proved challenging, where about half of respondents had difficulties getting food and acquiring supplies for personal protection and about one third had difficulties accessing hygiene and sanitary products.
If coronavirus measures were to persist further than they did, respondents mostly feared that it would be difficult to pay the rent, to cover basic expenses, and that they would need to ask for help to local government or family and friends.
While more than a third of businesses claimed that they could afford the situation only for one to two more months. Some proposals for the government to help businesses recover were financial assistance (21%) and ease and release from tax obligations (18%).
This report indeed highlights some of the most pressing issues and it will help UNDP Kosovo Team, other international stakeholders, and especially the government set out thorough plans on where to focus assistance.