7 May 2020

This Week’s COVID-19 Snapshot

The weekly snapshot provides expert insight on the outbreak and its widespread impact. In this edition, we assess how the pandemic risks causing significant food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa, the influence on Kuwait’s decision to cut oil output and more.


7 May 2020 – Global Themes


  • COVID-19’s disruptive impact on global economies and trade networks will increase risk of major food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa later this year
  • Disruption to food distribution will exacerbate existing non-COVID-19 related food crises, particularly in Southern and Eastern Africa
  • Food crises raise risks of riots in poorer areas, but rises in overall crime will in turn impact business districts and more affluent residential areas


1 May 2020 – Kuwait


  • Decision to expedite oil output cuts reflects government fears over financing deficits as MPs will continue to oppose rise in debt ceiling
  • Government will draw on substantial reserves to fund spending in interim, but budgetary pressures make austerity measures likely
  • Opposition MPs will exploit any such moves to boost their electoral prospects in delayed legislative polls


1 May 2020 – Qatar


  • Qatar will increase efforts to curb spread of COVID-19 in Industrial Area in order to avoid delays to 2022 World Cup projects
  • Authorities will boost testing and treatment for labourers but cramped living conditions will see infections continue to rise in coming weeks
  • Rise in infections among migrant labourers and greater media attention will increase potential reputational risk for construction businesses


1 May 2020 – Yemen


  • Southern Transitional Council’s (STC) declaration of self-governance in Aden will accelerate COVID-19 spread despite curfew
  • STC’s announcement will not lead to immediate escalation in fighting in Aden, though clashes more likely in Abyan Governorate
  • Curfew order will cause tensions in Aden, particularly if STC forces seek to prevent worshippers attending prayers during Ramadan

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