Diagnostics paper on Socio-Economic impact of COVID-19 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
١٦ ديسمبر ٢٠٢٠
The COVID-19 Pandemic has spread rapidly across countries in the world. It has disrupted the lives and livelihoods of all communities and is causing major challenges to vulnerable people. It also has a far reaching and negative impact on the economy and the well-being of the population.
This paper is a diagnostic paper on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA, Kingdom or Saudi Arabia). It assesses the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Kingdom through the analysis of the situation before and after the pandemic. This assessment with a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups, in line with no one left behind approach, is based on the five development pillars highlighted in the “A UN Framework for Immediate Socio-economic response to COVID-19” which sets out the framework for the United Nations’ urgent socio-economic support to countries and societies in the face of COVID-19, putting in practice the UN Secretary-General’s Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity report on the same thematic.
The United Nation Country Team (UNCT) in Saudi Arabia, coordinated through the Resident Coordinator Office (RCO), worked on this report to identify the most at risk and vulnerable categories of population including those who fall outside of government support systems such as foreigners who are irregularly staying in the Kingdom. This report also provides an overview of the response and recovery measures put in place by the government and showcases key areas o intervention for UN agencies to bring value added and contribute to strengthening the response provided by the government to the short and long term socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UNCT is coordinating this research to design detailed assessments of the COVID-19 pandemic in guidance with the UN framework of the immediate socio-economic response. The UNDP, as the Technical Leader for this joint socio-economic response, is considering this research to be a base for further specialized research, policy advice, recommendations, and initiatives. This Research would also assist UNDP and other UN agencies in drafting and designing its specific programmatic responses to this pandemic in the Kingdom by identifying the gaps in which the government would need their support. In this regard, this report attempts to provide policy makers with an overview of the economic strengths of Saudi Arabia highlighting key social areas such as health, education, poverty, gender equality, and social protection programs.