The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has indicated that Ghana’s challenges are not limited to only economic indicators but also social indicators..
According to the institute, social indicators in the country are equally dire.
It disclosed this in its State of Ghana’s Economy and Expectations of the 2024 Budget.
The Statistical Service’s Ghana Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey contained a Report on Food Insecurity, Multidimensional Poverty and Labour Statistics as of Quarter 2 of 2022, which the IEA said demonstrates the severity of the social situation.
The GSS report pointed out that 13.0 million, representing 42.0% of Ghanaians faced Food Insecurity. The IEA alluded that the problem is more severe in the rural areas than in the urban areas.
It continued that the situation is inconceivable in a country with vast arable land, which can support wide-ranging food crops.
In terms of Multidimensional Poverty, which comprises several indicators of living conditions, education and health, 14.4 million (46.7%) Ghanaians were multidimensionally poor. The incidence is highest in the North East Region (NER) (77.6%) and lowest in the Greater Accra Region (GAR) (22.3%).
The IEA explained that “Millions of Ghanaians face inadequate, poor and costly health services, with the poor being particularly vulnerable. Reports of hospital bed shortages with pregnant women having to sleep on bare floors, two babies sharing a single incubator and the closure of dialysis facilities amid escalating costs leave much to worry about and a lot to be desired.”
With regard to unemployment, the GSS report also indicated that the national unemployment rate was 13.9% as of Quarter 2, 2023.
“These figures could even be an understatement of the true unemployment situation, especially when it comes to assessing peoples’ ability to earn living incomes and also their general poverty status, since a lot of people are under-employed, engaging in menial economic activities”, it pointed out.