The world's economies are on their knees following the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic over the past 8 months. Growing number of researches has been conducted on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on developed countries with little attention on developing countries, who are still grappling with the negative impact of the coronavirus. The rationale for this study is to assess the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on Ghana's economy and government response to the pandemic as well as policy options to revive the ailing economy.
The findings from the discourse analysis revealed that the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted on the socio-economic situation of the citizens of Ghana. Whiles an estimated 42,000 people lost their jobs in the first two months of the pandemic in Ghana, tourist attraction sector of the country alone lost $171 million dollars in the past three months due to the partial lockdown and closure of tourism and hospitality centers in the country. The study revealed that Ghana's healthcare system has been overwhelmed by the number of increasing cases in the country to extent of making use of temporary structures as isolation and treatment centers of the pandemic. The study revealed that Ghana may convert these challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic into prospects and opportunities by investing massively in the health sector and creating support for the SMEs which creates massive employment for many Ghanaians.
Effects on youth: Thirty-four percent of the 18-24 year olds who were employed pre-pandemic did not earn income in the week before the survey. We explored whether this could be driven by various demographic factors by controlling for occupation, gender, age, sector, relationship to head of household, household size, school-aged children in the house, education, and clustering by region; we find that those aged 18-24 were more likely than every age range between 25-59 to be earning no income. Those aged 18-24 were 11 percent more likely to be earning no income than those aged 25-34, 8 percent more likely than those aged 35-44, and 18 percent more likely than those aged 45-59.
Food security and financial health: We find that young people, women were adversely affected by food security and financial health challenges. Those aged 18-34 were more likely than all older age groups to be unable to buy the same quantity of food as usual because the price of food was too high, even while controlling for the aforementioned demographic factors. Using the same controls, we find that women were 10 percent less likely than men to be able to buy the same quantity of food as usual due to heightened prices of food. Women and youth were faring worse on financial health. Thirty four percent of women would not be able to come up with emergency funds (500 cedis) in one month, compared to 23 percent of men. Among the people who could come up with this money, women were 7 percent more likely than men to report that it would be very difficult (while controlling for the same demographic factors as above). Twenty seven percent of those aged 18-34 could not come up with these emergency funds; among those who could come up with these funds, 82 percent of those aged 18-34 would find it difficult compared to 74 percent of those aged 35-59 and 45 percent of those 60 and above. Furthermore, those aged 18-34 were more likely than every older age group to find it difficult (either very or somewhat) to come up with this money.
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