Tuesday, May 21

Rising Cost of Living in Ghana Plunges Informal Sector Workers into Poverty

The escalating cost of living in Ghana is hitting hard at workers, especially those in the informal sector, driving many into abject poverty. The increasing prices of essential goods and services, including food, transportation, and accommodation, are squeezing the budgets of low-income households, forcing them to adopt more frugal lifestyles to cope with the financial strain.

A recent report by the Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) titled “Navigating Inflation: Impacts of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on Workers in Informal Employment in Accra, Ghana,” sheds light on the stark reality faced by informal sector workers in the country.

The report highlights the exacerbated challenges faced by these workers as they struggle to meet their basic needs amidst soaring food prices and other living expenses. Many interviewed for the report lamented that the amount of money they now spend on food has reached unsustainable levels, eating into their already meagre incomes and eroding their purchasing power.

To address these challenges, the workers are calling for assistance from the government. They are asking for financial support, including cash grants and soft loans, to alleviate their financial burdens and improve their economic resilience. The report recommends that the government expand existing loan programs to include low or no-interest soft loans and establish a simple, accessible, transparent application process for all workers in informal employment.

Additionally, the workers are urging the government to intervene by controlling inflation on essential items such as utility bills, essential food items, and transport. They also expect livelihood support, including food aid, access to secure housing close to places of work, and educational assistance through scholarships and support in childcare enrollment.

Furthermore, the workers are calling on the government to recognize their workplaces, including public spaces and landfills, as legitimate sites of work. They are also urging the government to invest in the occupational health and safety of workers in informal employment.

In conclusion, the report emphasizes the need for immediate action to address the challenges faced by informal sector workers in Ghana. It calls for a comprehensive approach that includes financial assistance, inflation control, livelihood support, and occupational health and safety measures to improve the well-being of these workers and mitigate the impact of the rising cost of living.