Monday, May 20

Report Reveals 850,000 Ghanaians Pushed into Extreme Poverty in 2022

A report by the Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) has revealed that 850,000 Ghanaians, mostly women, were pushed into extreme poverty in 2022 due to a combination of factors, including high levels of government debt, the closure of international markets to Ghana, and global disruptions to the supply chain as a consequence of the war in Ukraine.

The research, conducted in October 2023, discovered that despite Ghana making a slight recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, most of these 850,000 Ghanaians became vulnerable to inflationary pressures, leading to a cost-of-living crisis.

The report highlighted that the steep depreciation of the cedi, Ghana’s currency, was a major contributing factor to the high inflationary pressure.

As Ghana relies heavily on imports, the closure of international markets further exacerbated the situation, resulting in rising prices for essential goods and services.

“By the time this research was conducted (October 2023), the inflation rate averaged 35 per cent. It was particularly high for food and non-alcoholic beverages (+45%), and other necessities like health services (+28%), housing, water and electricity (+25%), transport (+25%), and education (+13%),” the report stated.

The cost-of-living crisis disproportionately affects workers in informal employment, who make up 89% of the employed population nationally (83% in Accra), according to the report.

These workers lack access to critical safety nets such as pension and poverty relief programs, cash transfers, and microfinance schemes, leaving them particularly vulnerable to economic shocks.

The findings of the report highlight the urgent need for interventions to support vulnerable populations and address the root causes of poverty in Ghana.