COVID-19 Impact on Households in Jordan: A Rapid Assessment, May 2020 [EN/AR]

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Key Findings

While Jordan curbs the spread of COVID-19 and trust in Government response measures is high, the impact of the crisis on households across Jordan has been significant.

This report is part of a series of rapid assessments to explore the impact of COVID-19 and government response measures on households and businesses in Jordan. It focuses on the impact on households across Jordan and is based on an online survey of 12,084 respondents. The survey took place during the lockdown (last week of April until 3 May) and highlights the significant impact the measures had on the livelihoods of many. As lockdown measures are gradually easing and the economy is opening up, some of the challenges will ease yet many respondents feel that the COVID-19 crisis will have a long-term impact on their livelihoods.

Below the key findings:

Only 6.8% reported that they were still employed as compared to before lockdown measures were introduced. More than a half (58.6%) of respondents who were employed before the crisis indicated to have lost their entire income, 17.1% reported their income was “much lower”, 9.4% reported a “slightly lower” income, leaving only 11.3% reporting that their income had been unaffected by the crisis. There is a large variation across governorates from 69% in Zarqa reporting that indicated to have lost all income (similar to Irbid at 65% and Amman at 62%) to 32% in Tafileh, 39% in Ma’an and 40% in Ajloun. Younger age groups indicated to have been affected more.

Almost three-quarters of respondents (72.5%) indicated having difficulties covering basic needs (rent, food, heating and medicine) due to the lockdown measures in place at the time of the survey (60.4% strongly agreed with this position, and a further 16.9% somewhat agreed). Only 10.6% of respondents reported not struggling to cover basic needs.

Access to clean drinking water was a concern for 38.3% of respondents. Even more concerning was access to basic healthcare, with 69.3% reporting challenges.

The overwhelming perception of respondents was that food prices have gone up, with almost half (48.8%) indicating that they had been “raised notably”, and a further 36.6% reporting they’ve been “slightly raised”.

A significant minority of respondents (21.9%) do not have the internet access they would need for work, education or e-commerce. This is compounded by the very low availability of computers and tablets, at 17.7% and 4.2% respectively. These figures make it clear that working from home and home-study are a challenge for the majority of households. 72.8% indicated to have access to a smart phone, which means that over a quarter do not, making distribution of information a challenge during a lockdown.

A large majority (66%) of respondents indicated that their financial resources will last less than one week should conditions continue. Another 20.3% indicated to have enough to last between 1 and 2 weeks.

7.7% can last between 2-4 weeks with their current resources, leaving less than 6% of respondents who can last over a month in their current situation.

Almost two-thirds of respondents (63.3%) do not know where to turn for support. 17.1% say they can get help from family and friends; 4.5% are using savings; 3.9% are selling belongings or assets, 3.4% are accessing institutional support (such as from the government), 2.2% are getting into debt with loans or credit cards, 2.1% are turning to civil society and religious organizations.

Many fear the long-term impact of the crisis on income levels and livelihoods, lasting beyond lockdown.

58.6% strongly agree there will be a long-term impact, another 17.8% somewhat agree; a further 12.3% say they don’t know, showing the uncertainty felt by many.