Investigation of the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Local and Indigenous Communities’ Socio-economic Status

Ponlok Chomnes (2021)
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The study aims to investigate indigenous communities’ socio-economic impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore coping strategies to aid in the socio-economic recovery of indigenous communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on indigenous people's livelihoods, including employment and income, education, the migration of people, health, and natural resources. As a result of COVID-19, the indigenous people have lost their employment and income. The price of fish has decreased, which has lowered their ability to make money from selling fish. Migrant workers returned home because they were concerned about their health security and many lost their jobs. Schools were closed because of COVID-19 and this increased education inequality. Health was impacted because it was difficult to access health services due to restrictions on travel. Returning migrants have pressured forest and fishery resources through increases in the number of fishers, which include the migrants who have returned to their own village. The RGC, rural communities and indigenous communities have taken a number of measures to cope with the issues stemming from COVID-19. Migrant workers tried to look for local employment, used fishing to supplement household consumption and income needs, and often borrowed money from neighbors. Students attempted to use e-learning that was facilitated by the government; teachers visited some students’ homes, and older students supported younger students in their school lessons. In terms of health, home visits were facilitated for pregnant women, and people sought permission to travel to health centers. After giving birth, families were visited and offered a small amount of money to support their basic needs. To deal with natural resources, some coping strategies included smaller groups of patrolling teams, support grants from CSOs for forest and fishery resource patrolling, drone delivery to community fishery committees, and requesting community members to report illegal fishing or logging. And to minimize the spread of COVID-19, a mandatory 14-day quarantine at home was imposed on all people returning to the village.

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Narith Por
Build Bright University


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