Botchwey, G (2021) Which Way Forward? Covid-19, Social Policy and Emergency Preparedness in Ghana, African Journal of Social Sciences Education, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2021), pp1-15,

The Covid-19 pandemic has provided a stern test of preparedness of states to respond to
the unexpected, and has forced a rethink of emergency and welfare systems previously
thought unassailable. Ironically, nations that consider themselves to have the most robust
systems have seen the most devastating impact. Most developing nations have been spared
the worst, but not necessarily because they were better prepared or due to the existence of
well-functioning emergency response or welfare systems. This paper systematically analyses
the responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and what they reveal about the state of social
policy and emergency response preparedness in Ghana. Analyses show that the pandemic
forced the state to impose several emergency measures including restrictions on social
interactions, economic activities, movement, outright lockdowns, closure of businesses and
educational institutions, which hit private educational institutions particularly hard. Many
private school teachers went unpaid for several months, with no statutory provisions for
income support. The situation also affected daily rate workers, commercial drivers, market
women, and many self-employed persons who literally need to be at work each day in
order to earn a living. The measures therefore led to very severe consequences for some,
and it was a matter of risking death either by starvation at home or by contracting Covid-19
while seeking a means of survival. The paper concludes that Ghana lacks a well-organised,
effective social support system which is capable of addressing human needs when they
arise, and the Covid-19 pandemic presents a real opportunity to establish one to deal with
present vulnerabilities and future emergencies.

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