During the months of October to December of 2020, the World Bank conducted a monthly rapid phone survey to assess the impact of the Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on firms and business activities in Iraq.
The survey solicited key information about firms’ operational status before and during the pandemic, their business outcomes, the severity of some of the challenges they have been facing, and finally, some of their coping strategies. The results show that seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, only half of surveyed firms in Iraq were operating their usual hours.
Firms reported a decrease in revenues and, to a lesser extent, a decrease in the supplies they need. However, worker layoffs were less common. Firms reported significant challenges in paying their utilities, their rent and their loans. The top two coping mechanisms to this cash flow contraction have been dipping into retained earnings and borrowing from family and friends. Lastly, only a third of firms reported having started or increased online sales, with many reporting issues in network reliability.
- Iraq: High Frequency Phone Survey to Assess the Impact of COVID-19 on Firms – June 2021 ( Full Report in a PDF format)