UN agencies analyze the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic in the Dominican Republic

A city scene of motorcyclist driving down a road.
Photo: UNDP Dominican Republic/Gilberto Abreu

To measure the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poorest population of the Dominican Republic and improve the joint response and recovery efforts, the United Nations system conducted a Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) (Available in Spanish). In collaboration with non-profit associations, community-based organizations, and the Unique System of Beneficiaries of Social Subsidies, it surveyed 6,359 households nationwide. 

The findings identified specific unmet needs, including...   

Access to food

Photo: FAO/Max Valencia

  • 76.7% of those surveyed indicated that they are concerned about not having enough food,  
  • 45.8% reported are having to buy cheaper food, and  
  • 26.8% reduced the number of meals per day.  


Caption: Photo: Tamarcus Brown

Photo: Tamarcus Brown

  • 84.8% of the children and adolescents enrolled in an educational center before the pandemic were able to continue their studies remotely or virtually. 
  • 77.9% of households have more access to smartphones than the 24.5% of those who have computers or tablets. 
  • The most common study method was through WhatsApp, used in 90.2% of households surveyed. 


Photo: UNDP Dominican Republic

  • 59.1% of the households in the sample expressed that they have suffered a significant reduction in their sources of income due to COVID-19 the main reasons being the decrease in income/wages (36.7 %), temporary loss or suspension of employment (18.8%) and permanent loss of employment (9.3%).

More about the survey

Thanks to a network of local organizations, the survey was carried out during the month of July 2020 and will be repeated in the coming months to measure how the socioeconomic situation of low-income households evolve. The results will allow the Dominican Republic State to design evidence-based interventions, necessary for the recovery and socioeconomic reactivation of communities, through differentiated measures and initiatives.

The SEIA survey is supported by the UN system, as a contribution to the Dominican Government in the context of the UN Framework for the Immediate Socioeconomic Response to COVID19 (Available in Spanish.). Its implementation was carried out under the leadership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the participation of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Joint Programme of the United Nations on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), together with a network of 28 non-governmental organizations and the Single System of Beneficiaries (SIUBEN). 

For the implementation of the survey, the Take Action Network (Red Actúa, in Spanish) was created, thanks to the joint efforts carried out by the UN System, community organizations and State institutions mentioned above. This Take Action Network aims to expand the scope of the assessment of the effects of COVID-19, as well as channel response and recovery measures towards the most vulnerable populations. The Take Action Network will carry out these surveys periodically, which will allow not only to understand the socioeconomic effects of the crisis on the most vulnerable groups, but also to analyze the changes and trends that occur as the pandemic progresses.

Produced by UN Dominican Republic. The original article was published to the UN Dominican Republic website on 20 August 2020. To learn more about the work of the UNCT in the Dominican Republic visit:

UN entities involved in this initiative
International Organization for Migration
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund

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