COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy: Informal Workers in Accra, Ghana
COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy is a WIEGO-led 12-city longitudinal study that assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on specific groups of informal workers and their households. Using a survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews, Round 1 assessed the impact of the crisis at two points – peak lockdowns (April 2020) and easing of lockdowns (June/July 2020) – in comparison to pre-COVID-19 (February 2020). Round 2 will assess continuing impacts versus signs of recovery in the first half of 2021 compared to the pre-COVID-19 period and Round 1. This report presents the summary findings of Round 1 of the study in Accra, Ghana. In Accra, WIEGO surveyed 193 street vendors, market traders, waste pickers and kayayei who are members of the Informal Hawkers and Vendors Association of Ghana (IHVAG), Greater Accra Markets Association (GAMA), Kpone Landfill Waste Pickers Association and Kayayei Youth Association. Researchers also conducted in-depth interviews with two informal worker leaders from each sector. This report considers the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on these worker groups with regard to income, food, health, and household stress; how relief mechanisms are overlooking informal workers; and the types of policy responses needed for an economic recovery that includes Accra’s essential, but vulnerable workers.