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International Consultant (Lead) for Study on the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak in Mauritius
The impact of COVID-19 is an unprecedented human crisis in the history of the United Nations, with far reaching consequences on people’s physical and psychological health, and multiplier effects on the socio-economic and political landscape of countries globally.
The WHO reports that there are around 13 top priority countries in the African region, including Mauritius, that have had direct exposure to China. As its primary focus, the WHO has supported active screening in the airports in Mauritius and the other vulnerable countries.
The Context of Mauritius
On 18 March 2020, the Prime Minister Pravind K. Jugnauth confirmed that there were three cases of COVID-19 in Mauritius and declared a “Veille Sanitaire”.
Mauritius subsequently witnessed an exponential increase in number cases, with the latest official figures of 17 May 2020 showing that the country had registered 332 cases, however, there were no new cases registered since 26 April 2020. As at 17 May 2020,8 there had been 322 patients that had been successfully treated in Mauritius, with 149 Passengers in Quarantine; 61,921 Rapid Antigen tests and 25,256 PCR tests effected.
As Mauritius moved from its Covid-19 readiness to a response plan, on 25 March 2020, Government announced distribution of 35,000 food packs to vulnerable families registered under the Social Register Mechanism that has been established with the support of the UNDP. Furthermore, Government announced a series of interventionist measures to assist workers both in the formal and informal economy for their economic empowerment. These include, inter alia a Wage Assistance Scheme, Self-Employed Assistance Scheme for the informal sector. As of 18 April, 202013, , there were 160,000 beneficiaries engaged in the informal sector who had received the Self-Employed Assistance Scheme (SEAS). Additionally, the Government has set up the Wage Assistance Scheme which relates to an economic measure through the Mauritius Revenue Authority14 to provide a Government wage subsidy to Employers, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that all employees are duly paid their salary for the month of March 2020. The measure was subsequently extended.
It is to be noted that around 27.3% of total government expenditure and 7.0% of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) at market prices is related to Social Security. With the increased number of schemes announced by the Government, it is now estimated that Government has injected MUR 2 billion as a social safety net to alleviate the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.
The Gendered Impact of COVID-19
Women and girls face differentiated impacts from crises, they are also already on the forefronts of the preparedness and response efforts and offer capacities, strengths and leadership that are crucial to effective response.
With a population of 50.5% of females, emergency responses which may be limited in their focus on gender issues and intersectionality’s (age/abled-ness, location, ethnicity), existing inequalities will likely to be exacerbated, and have indirect negative impacts on gendered relations, gendered power dynamics and affect women’s socio-economic status negatively.
In Mauritius, there are presently 7.9% of the population living below the income poverty line with an increased number of women heads of households and falling below the poverty line. In addition to unemployment and falling in a poverty cycle, there are other factors that makes COVID-19 a gendered disease that affects and impact on women and men differently, as well as influence their gendered practical and strategic needs.
Rationale for Study
The overall outcome of the Study is to assess the sectorial, social and macro-economic impacts of COVID-19 in the Republic of Mauritius with proposals for short, medium and long-term policy responses captured in an Action Plan.
The International Consultant will be the Lead Consultant responsible for the overall Consultancy. The Lead Consultant will advise, guide and oversee the work of the National Consultants with key inputs in the formulation of the conceptual framework and timeline of the Study.
Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives are three folds, namely, at the sectorial level, on the social front and at the macro-economic level.
- Conceptual Framework with roadmap
- Draft Report
- Gender Responsive Social Development Policy Brief
- Gender Responsive Economic Policy Brief
- Final Report with Action Plan/Recovery plan
Duration of the assignment
This assignment is for duration of 30 days within a period of 2.5 months from 10 June 2020 and not later than 31 August 2020.
Submission of Application
Applications should be sent through email : email@example.com on or before Thursday 04 June 2020 - Midnight, New York time (GMT+4 Mauritius time)
Annex A - Letter of confirmation of interest and availability and Submission of financial proposal
Annex B - Model Contact IC
Annex C - UNDP GCC IC
Annex D - P11
Terms of Reference