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COVID-19 Updates » Economic relief through social safety nets during the COVID-19 crisis: the case of Ghana

Economic relief through social safety nets during the COVID-19 crisis: the case of Ghana


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October 26, 2020 at 9:51 PM

As in much of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the economic well-being of millions of Ghanaians. The economic fallout has been driven by a pandemic-triggered global slowdown, containment measures imposed by the government, and reduced interpersonal contact among Ghanaians to help lower the risk of infection.

Simulations and surveys (e.g., 1, 2) suggested that the economic impact has been worst in the country‚Äôs two largest cities, Accra and Kumasi, which underwent a partial lockdown for over three weeks in April. These findings also suggested that the negative effects were felt widely across the country, including in rural areas and in the less developed central and northern parts of the country, where poverty is greater.  

The government has introduced a variety of interventions to assist those affected. Measures have included several months of free water and free or subsidized electricity services to public utilities customers; soft loans to qualified micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; and an initiative, implemented in partnership with faith-based organizations, to provide free food and other essentials to those in need in Accra and Kumasi during the partial lockdown.

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