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Lockdowns and Coronavirus Take a Toll on Families

Malawi is seeing a sharp rise in suicide rates this year, with some attributing it to the economic stresses of the Covid pandemic. Malawi police service reports an increase of as much as 57% on the same period last year. Suicide mortality rate (per 100,000 population) in Malawi was reported at 3.7% in 2016 by the World Bank. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. About half of the population are below the poverty line, with 20% described as “extremely poor”. The full extent of the pandemic’s negative impact is uncertain as the crisis is still unfolding, but a host of external and internal factors are dampening the Malawi economy, according to the World Bank. Negative trends have already been observed in many businesses, including in companies that have downsized their workforce, leaving thousands unemployed or on less pay. Teachers in private schools, for example, were not paid during the period that schools were closed. The hospitality industry also bore the brunt of the crisis.