Income plummets in Bangladesh as a result of Covid-19 – Stuart Rutherford’s Hrishipara diaries reveal, in graphic detail, the daunting scale of the challenges facing the poor worldwide. “Anxiety prevails, as shown in the end-March version of the monthly survey we take of our diarists’ thoughts about the month just past, and their hopes for the month to come. The fear, overwhelmingly, is of loss of income. Much of what needs to be done by policymakers is already understood. This blog testifies to, rather than reveals, those needs. What is described here suggests than from the diarists’ point of view the top priorities are relief measures to ensure food and income security and to prevent distress sales of assets. Financial services need to be unlocked, above all to release savings in MFI accounts. And the high level of anxiety means people need, somehow, to be reassured.

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