Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim

Two-thirds of households surveyed by the Ghana Statistical Service Household and Job Tracker Survey during the 3rd COVID-19 Wave revealed that their income has not recovered to pre-pandemic 19 levels. Also, only 26.7% of respondents indicated that their total household income stayed the same as compared to the period before COVID-19 (March 16, 2020).

Again, 5.1% of respondents indicated that their total income increased.

The survey also identified that households spent 12 cedis on Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) per week on average.

The median expenditure on PPEs (masks, sanitisers, face shields, etc.) per household on the seven days before the interviews was 12.0 and the mean expenditure 22.0. Median expenditure was slightly higher in urban areas (14) than in rural areas (10.3).

Of the zones, both the median (15) and mean (25.3) expenditure was the highest in the coastal zone, while 68.2% indicated that their household income decreased.

Of the different sources of income, non-farm family business income saw the biggest reduction. 77.3% of households with income derived from a non-farm family business saw a decrease in income and only 4.4% reported an increase in income.

The 4.2% of households who got income from pension saw the smallest change of this income source. 76.7% however reported no change in pension income, 13.0% a reduction and 10.3% an increase.

Borrowing became more frequent coping strategies in 2021

The survey identified that approximately 86.7% of households used some sort of coping strategy to deal with the negative effects of COVID-19 since March 2020.

The most common coping strategies included relying on savings (43.0%) and reducing food consumption (42.9%).

Respondents reported that most types of coping strategies were used more often in 2020 than in 2021. The exception to this the survey said is the borrowing from friends and family and the use of credited purchases.

73.4% of respondents experienced increase in price of major food items

When asked about what shocks households experienced due to COVID-19 since March 2020, 73.4%, indicated that they experienced an increase in the price of major food items consumed and 46.5% indicated that they were affected by the increase of the price of inputs.

58.7% of households indicated that they were affected by the school closures, but the majority (92.1%) of households indicated that this shock occurred in 2020. Other shocks were felt more evenly throughout 2020, and the first and second half of 2021.

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