REUTERS

A total of 69% of Ukrainians have experienced the economic impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

"Almost a third of respondents reported losing their jobs, while over half spent their savings and cut their expenses on food. People from rural areas, industrial workers, and households with unemployed members suffered the most," according to a survey commissioned by UNICEF.

During the quarantine, access to the Internet and computers was critical for efficient learning and the work of all family members. According to the survey, 16% of Ukrainians lack Internet-enabled devices. Meanwhile, 73% used the Internet every day during the lockdown.

At the same time, residents of small towns and settlements are the least equipped with devices, and West Ukraine's population uses Internet services the least.

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According to Ukrainians, during the economic crisis the state should first of all help people with disabilities, retirees and families with children under six.

"Ukrainians would consider increases in living wages, salaries and pensions to be evidence of improved life after the quarantine," it said.

The study was conducted in the framework of the nationwide Ukrainian survey "Thoughts and views of the population of Ukraine" (Omnibus) in May-June 2020. A total of 2,000 interviews were conducted.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine's Social Policy Ministry predicts poverty in Ukraine will grow to 45% by late 2020, which is 6.5 percentage points higher year-over-year (y-o-y).

According to UNICEF's worse-case scenario, the number of poor people in Ukraine may grow by over 9 million, including almost 2 million children.

Commenting on the UNICEF forecast at a press conference on May 20, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said a wage of UAH 5,000-6,000 (US$187-224) is low, but it is not poverty.