Prolonged COVID-19 pandemic worsens poverty and disparities in Ghana


The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating poverty and disparities, and social conditions in Ghana, which has impacted the poor and vulnerable, a release from the World Bank said here on Friday.

The bank listed the disruption in the provision of essential health services in the first three months of the crisis as some of the disparities the pandemic occasioned in Ghana.

“Ghana’s labor market has also been hard hit by the pandemic, leading to job losses and lower incomes. In the first three months of the crisis, 77 percent of the population reported a decline in household incomes,” said the release.

In its response to the emerging needs, the World Bank said it plans to promote equal access to routine primary health care services and expand digital solutions for the country.

“In the longer term, the World Bank plans to support the establishment of the Ghana Center for Disease Control and continue to address critical needs, including the nationwide deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines,” the release said.

Since the outbreak, the bank has provided 232.5 million U.S. dollars in International Development Association financing to the West African country, it said.

Ghana recorded 88,421 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 84,095 recoveries as of Friday, with 705 succumbing to the virus, leaving 3,621 active cases.

The government proposed two new tax increases in the 2021 budget to support a proposed COVID-19 health levy to finance the government’s COVID-19 alleviation programs.

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