GENEVA – COVID-19 could cost 25 million jobs globally claims a new assessment by the International Labour Organisation. The startling figure comes as the impact of the pandemic ripples through global apparel supply chains in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.
In these and other markets, orders by brands – which have closed shops in their thousands globally – have dried up. Many factories face financial ruin due to short-term cashflow and liquidity problems while millions of garment workers face losing their job, with no safety net to fall back on. Bangladesh is the most exposed of all these production countries – almost 90 per cent of its exports are garment industry dependent.
The ILO has called for an internationally coordinated policy response, as happened in the global financial crisis of 2008/9, and claims that if this happens, “the impact on global unemployment could be significantly lower.”