Powering Past the Pandemic: Bolstering Tuvalu’s Socioeconomic Resilience in a Covid-19 World
This assessment report was produced under the project “Enhancing Food Security and Building Socioeconomic Resilience to Covid-19 in Tuvalu” supported by the United Nations (UN) COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi Partner Trust Fund and delivered through a partnership of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The report aims to understand the effects of COVID-19 on Tuvalu’s labour market, specifically the impacts on employment, businesses and households. To this end, a field survey and focused group meetings were carried out from 11 to 21 November 2020 in collaboration with the National Tripartite Committee made up of relevant Government departments, employers, and worker organizations. A total of of 32 businesses (comprising 10% of total businesses), 189 workers (20% of all workers), 23 laid-off employees (8% of all laid-off workers) and 87 households (comprising 10 % of households) on the main island of Funafuti were covered under the survey.
Survey results indicate that while the effects of COVID-19 during the immediate state of emergency period has been marginal on Tuvalu, the situation may deteriorate should the pandemic persist. This is primarily due to Tuvalu’s dependence on external supplies and remittances from the Tuvaluan diaspora. Fortunately, because Government and private sector are the principal employers, impact on majority of workforce has been minimal. The report concludes with a set of innovative recommendations to support the Government of Tuvalu to embark on the path of economic recovery once the pandemic subsides.