New report shows 22 million people in Ghana lost income due to COVID-19

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every facet of life including household incomes, a new report shows.

According to the report by UNICEF and the World Bank some 22 million people in Ghana have experienced a decrease in household income due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A press release from the UN copied to Ghana Business News says, the report titled Impact of COVID-19 on the welfare of households with children was the result of data collected in 35 countries, including Ghana.

“It found that households with three or more children were most likely to have lost income, with more than three-quarters experiencing a reduction in earnings. This compares to 68 per cent of households with one or two children,” it said.

The report finds that in, Ghana, about 22 million people, that is about two-thirds of the population, experienced a decrease in household income because of the pandemic.

Commenting on the report, the UNICEF Director of Programme Group, Sanjay Wijesekera says, “the modest progress made in reducing child poverty in recent years risks being reversed in all parts of the world.

Families have experienced income loss at a staggering scale. While last year inflation reached its highest level in years, more than two thirds of households with children brought in less money. Families cannot afford food or essential health care services. They cannot afford housing. It is a dire picture, and the poorest households are being pushed even deeper in poverty.”

According to the report, children in 40 per cent of households did not engage in any form of educational activities while their schools were closed.

“In Ghana, 35 per cent of children in basic school and 28 per cent of Senior High School students were not engaged in learning while they were at home from March to December 2020.

The main challenge faced by children for home learning was access to basic tools such as computers or phones and Internet. Given that data is compiled at the household level, the actual participation rate at individual level is likely even lower, especially for children who come from households with three or more children,” the report said.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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