São Tomé and Príncipe in the times of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, which have restricted the movement of people and lowered economic activity, has had a significantly negative impact on global economic growth. Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are, in particular, projected to be severely affected.
São Tomé and Príncipe is one such country, with a fragile economy which is therefore highly susceptible to external shocks. The remoteness of the island contributes to increased export costs, and the limited availability of land and a small workforce prevents diversification of the economy beyond a reliance on tourism revenues.
Although the island has seen some success in containing the spread of the virus, the major consequences to the country will not come in the form of cases or deaths, but rather from the severe economic consequences of a near absence of international travel and downturn in global economic activity. The threat to the tourism sector remains and will only get worse the longer international travel is restricted.
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