The index shows that the economies of low-income countries are highly vulnerable to the COVID‑19 pandemic, exacerbating underlying weaknesses. Half of the low-income countries and 25% of middle-income countries are facing the highest risk of COVID-19 impacts. Unsurprisingly, higher-income states generally have better coping capacity, even when hit by an unprecedented global shock. Nonetheless, 56% of high-income countries are considered to face an intermediate level of risk, along with 63% of middle-income economies and half of the poorest countries. The index also shows less diversified economies are at a high risk when hit by a crisis such as COVID-19. The group of countries considered most vulnerable to COVID-19 impacts includes a number of oil exporters and countries that are highly dependent on tourism.
None of the countries in the Western Balkans or Turkey are among the most vulnerable, but Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia fall into the intermediate vulnerability category. In the Southern Neighbourhood, one country, Lebanon, is in the highest vulnerability group, but most others have intermediate vulnerability. Most of the countries in the European Union’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia (ENCA) region are in the intermediate vulnerability group, with the poorest two, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, falling into the highest vulnerability category.
Outside the European Union’s immediate neighbourhood, sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific states are the most vulnerable regions. Around half of the countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are among the most vulnerable, with almost all of the remainder falling into the intermediate vulnerability category. Latin America and Asia each have a small number of countries in the highest and lowest vulnerability groups, while most of the remaining countries face intermediate vulnerability. This reflects the diversity of both regions, which are predominantly middle-income areas, but also contain both low- and high-income countries.
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The EIB Group will provide up to €6.7 billion as a comprehensive response to the coronavirus pandemic outside the EU in the coming months. This financing is part of the Team Europe response and supported by guarantees from the EU budget. It will both strengthen urgent health investment and accelerate long-standing support for private sector investment that reflects financing needs in more than 100 countries around the world.
The EIB Group will also provide €1.7 billion to support the social and economic recovery of the Western Balkans from the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of a €3.3 billion financial support package for the region announced on 29 April by the European Commission.
The immediate fast-tracked support will help to sustain jobs and livelihoods in sectors most threatened by the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus, and will be followed by additional long-term health and business financing as needed.
About the EIB Economics Department
The EIB Economics Department provides economic research and studies, as well as unique analysis of investment activities in the EU and beyond, and supports the Bank in its operations and in defining its positioning, strategy and policy. Chief Economist Debora Revoltella heads the Department and its team of 40 economists.
About the EIB Investment Survey (EIBIS)
The EIB Group Survey on Investment and Investment Finance is a unique annual survey of some 13 500 firms. It comprises firms in all EU Member States, as well as a sample of US firms that serves as a benchmark. It collects data on firm characteristics and performance, past investment activities and future plans, sources of finance, financing issues and other challenges that businesses face. Using a stratified sampling methodology, the EIBIS is representative across all EU Member States and the US, as well as across firm size classes (micro to large) and four main sectors. It is designed to build a panel of observations to support time series analysis – observations that can also be linked to firm balance sheet and profit and loss data. The EIBIS was developed and is managed by the Economics Department of the EIB, with Ipsos MORI providing development and implementation support.
For more information see: http://www.eib.org/eibis.