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Serbia became a stand-alone sovereign republic in the summer of 2006 after Montenegro voted in a referendum for independence from the Union of Serbia and Montenegro (BBC, 2018).

The end of the Union marked the closing chapter in the separation of the six republics of the old Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, which was proclaimed in 1945 and comprised Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.

The COVID-19 outbreak and related containment measures are taking a heavy toll on the Serbian economy and leading to much lower growth than previously expected. Aside from the direct impact on health outcomes, the anticipated decline in services, lower investments, depressed demand for Serbian exports, and mobility restrictions will hurt jobs and labour income. Poor and vulnerable households may be disproportionately affected (World Bank, 2020).

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