Economic distress and social discontent will rise over the next 18 months unless world leaders, businesses, and policy-makers work together to manage the fallout of the pandemic. As economies restart, there is an opportunity to embed greater societal equality and sustainability into the recovery, which would unleash a new era of prosperity. These are the findings of COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications, published recently. 
The report, produced in partnership with Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, taps into the views of nearly 350 senior risk professionals who were asked to look at the next 18 months and rank their biggest concerns in terms of likelihood and impact for the world and for business.
The prediction’s result shows that half of all respondents ranked the following among their top concerns. 
• High levels of unemployment (particularly among youth)
• bankruptcies and industry consolidation
• failure of industries to recover
• disruption of supply chains

‘COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications’ gives us a glimpse of what happens in the next 18 months

The report also indicated that around 500 million people are at risk of falling into poverty, 80 percent of students worldwide will be out of school in March 2020 (Note: The Philippines follows a different school calendar), and 34 percent of adults are “feeling adverse effects on their mental health during lockdown.”

COVID_Risks_Survey_Top10_MostLikelyLeaders should act now
In examining the interconnection between risks, the report also calls on leaders to act now against an avalanche of future systemic shocks, such as the climate crisis, geopolitical turbulence, rising inequality, strains on people’s mental health, gaps in technology governance, and health systems under continued pressure. 
These longer-term risks will have serious and far-reaching implications for societies, the environment, and the governance of breakthrough technologies. It reinforces the calls made in the Global Risks Report 2020, where multi-stakeholder, community-rated environmental risks are among the top five global risks for the next decade. It also warns of the extraordinary stress on health systems. 
“The crisis has devastated lives and livelihoods. It has triggered an economic crisis with far-reaching implications and revealed the inadequacies of the past. As well as managing the immediate impact of the pandemic, leaders must work with each other and with all sectors of society to tackle emerging known risks and build resilience against the unknown,” said Saadia Zahidi, managing director of the World Economic Forum. “We now have a unique opportunity to use this crisis to do things differently and build back better economies that are more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.”
The latest update provides a preliminary picture of familiar risks, which may be amplified by the crisis and new ones may emerge. Two-thirds of respondents identified a “prolonged global recession” as a top concern for business. One-half identified bankruptcies and industry consolidation, failure of industries to recover, and a disruption of supply chains as crucial worries. 
With the accelerated digitization of the economy in the midst of the pandemic, cyberattacks and data fraud are also major threats, according to one-half of respondents while the breakdown of IT infrastructure and networks is also a top concern. Geopolitical disruptions and tighter restrictions on the movement of people and goods are high on the worry list. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (