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Economic Conditions of the Cambodian Urban Informal Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tapas R. Dash and Shruti Dash*
CamEd Business School, Cambodia
*University of Wollongon, Australia

International Research Symposium
2021, pp. 29 – 52




The impetus for this study comes from a field observation on informal workers in different urban areas in the Phnom Penh city during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prevailing pandemic has devasted economies around the world, and in particular, the informal workers, who are generally employed on a seasonal, casual, or temporary basis. and lack social protection, have suffered the worst. To mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on poor and vulnerable houscholds, the Royal Government of Cambodia launched a nationwide cash relief program in June 2020. It is believed that an effective mitigation program to counteract the negative impact of COVID-19 requires evidence-based research, and this has prompted us to carry out the present study.

Emerging from Wuhan in December 2019, the “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19) pandemic has drastically altered the world cconomy and affected every aspect of life. While the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) views that the world has faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and emerging markets and developing countries were the hardest hit (British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC], 2020), the International Labour Organization (2020a) describes the coronavirus pandemic as the worst global crisis since World War II. The World Bank (2021) has estimated —3.5 percent growth of the global economy for 2020. The rapid spread of the virus has not only led to the disruption of supply chains and freezing demand limiting the flows of travel, trade, and investment (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], 2020), but has also slowed down economic activities in almost all countries due to lockdown and social containment measures. While nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion workforce were at risk of losing their livelihoods (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2020), in Southeast Asia alone, with every passing month, tens of millions of more workers become vulnerable of sliding into poverty, including many in the middle class.

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Cite this article in APA 7

Dash, T.. R. & Dash, S. (2021). Economic conditions of the Cambodian urban informal workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Dash, T., R. & Charman, K., P. (Eds.), COVID-19: The economy and society. International Research Symposium (pp. 29 – 52). ALLIED PUBLISHERS PVT. LTD.

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