Iraq High Frequency Phone Survey to Assess the Impact of COVID-19 on Firms – June 2021

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During the months of October to December of 2020, the World Bank, through a collaboration with the World Food Program, conducted a rapid, monthly, phone survey to assess the impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on firms and business activities in Iraq. The survey was administered to a total of 671 firms from the manufacturing and services sectors in the country.

The survey solicited key information about firms’ operational status before and during the pandemic, their general business outcomes, the severity of some of the challenges they have been facing, and finally some of their coping strategies.

The focus on understanding the state of firms and business activity in Iraq during the pandemic comes from the recognition that it is a precursor to what may await the broader economy as well as workers and their families. The survey results highlight the importance of some key challenges that firms have faced since the beginning of the pandemic.

This note is structured as follows: section one gives introduction.

Section two describes the sample frame, sample selection, and the process of data collection.

Section three briefly describes the questionnaire. Section four delves into the results such that it first gives a set of descriptive statistics of the firms that were interviewed, then elaborates on their responses related to the pandemic and its various challenges and coping mechanisms. Section five concludes with some policy implications.