News & Analysis: Poverty and inequality

South Africa’s economy: the good, the bad and the ugly

“Despite a swift jobs rebound after South Africa’s strict lockdown, permanent economic scarring due to COVID-19 in an already fragile economy will likely cause unemployment to keep rising, even as the pandemic fades.”

via Financial Mail

G20 and development

“The G20 in both the finance and Sherpa track should develop a set of guiding principles for engaging with low-income and fragile states in this post-COVID environment. The focus should be on mitigating the development impacts of the pandemic in both social, economic and security terms.”


After COVID-19 inequality frameworks in Nigeria must address children’s rights and dignity

“As we battle COVID-19 and the toll it has taken on the world today, we must listen to the often-overlooked voices of those who will inherit the world of tomorrow. Inequalities expert Foluke Adetola Ojelabi looks at the youngest victims of COVID-19 and its countless impacts – and of the unequal social order that long predates the pandemic.”

via Africa at LSE

A breakthrough in COVID-19 wastewater checks could speed up tests for informal settlements

“Countries around the world have been monitoring their sewer systems for COVID-19. But in sub-Saharan Africa, less than 10% of the population is connected to the sewer network. Instead of sampling sewers, South Africa’s Water Research Commission decided to look for COVID-19 RNA in three rivers and one surface runoff from an informal settlement in the province of Gauteng.”

via Quartz Africa

Africa Can Improve Future Health Systems Resilience by Complementing Gaps in Physical Infrastructure with Digital Health Solutions

“Without resilient health systems with adequate health infrastructure, any economic progress African countries make is extremely fragile and unsustainable. Ten months of the COVID-19 pandemic have wiped away an entire decade of economic development resulting in 50 million Africans who will fall below the poverty line of living on $1.5 a day.”

via African Arguments

COVID-19 Food Distribution Moves to Todee District (Liberia)

“The World Food Programme and partners have distributed food rations in rural Montserrado targeting over 19,600 households in 36 communities in 8 clans of Todee District, Liberia.”

via Liberian Observer

Exposing Inequality, Accelerating Innovation: COVID-19 and the Digital Economy

“COVID-19 has highlighted the great promise borne by the digital economy. The flip side, however, is that we now understand there to be a significant digital divide between those who are either without internet access or unskilled in the use of modern technology, and those who could easily work and learn from home.”

via The Cairo Review of Global Affairs

Universal basic income helped Kenyans weather COVID-19 – but it’s not a silver bullet

“The ability to access income supplements clearly helped people weather the pandemic. It also leads to people taking risks, but was not able to protect the income from these investments during the crisis. In a pandemic, it may be important to protect these incomes as well, so perhaps larger one-time cash transfers may also be needed.”

via The Conversation

COVID-19 leaves permanent scar on South African employment

“Commenting on the latest official unemployment figures this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was encouraged that 600,000 more people became employed between the second and third quarters. However, just 37 out of every 100 South Africans of working age are employed.”

via Sunday Times

Life On These Stones Is Very Hard’ – House Helps in COVID-19 Nairobi

“The COVID-19 pandemic has, as for many other Nairobians and house helps elsewhere, produced painful times for women. Socio-economic relations with former employers which have always been precarious and often exploitative can no longer be characterized as reliable. Most importantly, relations have been impersonalized.”

via Developing Economies