Covid 19: Making the poor poorer

Reporters © FRANCE 24

Every day thousands of people around the world continue to become direct casualties of the Covid-19. But there’s another group slowly emerging – indirect victims who have not contracted the virus but are suffering its consequences. Our reporter Julie Dungelhoff went to meet a temporary worker and cleaner who have been hard hit by the crisis.


For two months from March 17 to May 11, 2020, the French economy ground to a near standstill due to a lockdown imposed by the government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, almost 12 million people in France became partially employed with average wage losses of up to 16 percent. Others, like temporary workers, were made redundant overnight, while thousands more casual workers lost their livelihoods.

Many of these women and men were already in financial hardship before the pandemic hit. Now they have been pushed into poverty.

With the closure of schools and canteens some families have struggled to provide three to four meals for their children. Many have had no choice but to turn to food banks, whose demand for aid has surged.

Though the economy is picking up, many in France are still without work. The threat of a second wave of the virus and plans for mass layoffs pose further risks.

Our reporter travelled to Argentan, Orne, and Seine-Saint-Denis to meet two women – one a temporary worker, the other an "illegal" paid housekeeper – who are both indirect casualties of the virus.

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