Introduction and Background
The Southern African region has over the past few years struggled to sustainably reduce its level of poverty and inequality. Inequalities along class, race, and gender continue to characterise the access and control over both productive and reproductive assets in the region. The global COVID-19 pandemic has worked to worsen poverty and inequality in Southern Africa.
Existing social safety nets and welfare programmes, policies, and practices were unprepared and not effective in protecting the most vulnerable populations. Responses across various stakeholders tended to be responsive, with early warning systems and disaster management (including risk reduction efforts), similar to global trends, were largely inadequate.