PANEL STUDY III: IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES IN IRAQ

17 February, 2021

 

To measure the losses and investigate how small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are coping with the economic impact of COVID-19, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Iraq, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the International Trade Center (ITC) launched a panel study surveying 893 enterprises across 15 governorates of Iraq.

Panel Study III: Impact of COVID-19 on Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Iraq presents the findings of the third round of data collection, analyzing the changes in trends occurring between August and December 2020.

The initial movement restrictions and curfews that the government of Iraq implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19—including lockdowns or curfews, school closures, and restrictions on travel into and within the country—have been relaxed in certain locations, producing some level of economic recovery. SMEs witnessed a partial recovery in employment and reported revenues since the beginning of the pandemic. However, production continued to be affected negatively. On average, half of SME owners saw a decline in production when comparing February to both September and December. To cope with the financial stresses of the pandemic, SMEs reported attempting to increase marketing efforts and request leniency in paying off financial commitments. This is a pivot from the strategy of laying off employees, which was more prevalent in the beginning of the pandemic.

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Findings from Round 1 and Round 2 can be found in here.