Galania Scales up Social Protection Measures as COVID-19 Constrains Economic Growth
Bahadia, 10th March 2021
Galania’s economic growth is forecast to contract significantly due to the negative impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the protracted drought and emergent conflict. The economy is projected to contract by a significant percentage this year, an increase from earlier estimate of 3.2 percent before the pandemic.
The latest Galania Economic Update says COVID-19 has impacted all sectors of the economy leading to declines in revenue for the government. The pandemic has limited trade taxes and remittances, with direct impact on poor households, services and core government functions. The authorities continue to rely heavily on partners where it has limited access.
“The Government and NGO partners on the ground need to move swiftly to alleviate the health, social and economic impact of COVID-19 by scaling up health sector and livelihoods financing. Specifically, supporting the design and launch of a cash transfer program that puts money directly in the hands of the most vulnerable households should be fast-tracked. Scaling up social protection measures will greatly support the populations who face the threat of losing livelihoods“ said a World Bank Galania representative.
Additionally, with the onset of COVID 19 necessitating the closure of schools in Galania, the report notes that child protection risks remain significant at multiple levels; socially, physically and economically in the long term.
“The government and its partners will need to put more effort towards ensuring that child protection risks and mental health wellbeing are thoroughly investigated and addressed during these challenging times”, noted one respondent who declined to be named fearing negative backlash on his organization. “We are increasingly receiving reports from the field that children are facing difficult times in their homes with parents who have lost their source of livelihoods becoming increasingly abusive towards the innocent souls”.
The report established that the number of pandemic related incidences of gender–based violence are on the increase Galania with children and women bearing the brunt of it. There are increasing tension in pockets of Galania as resources become scarce and populations resort to negative coping mechanisms. In other situations, individuals are infringing on stretched resources in other communities. Mental health cases continue to soar in all these areas.
“It will require concerted efforts between government and both internal and external stakeholders to put everything into perspective and address it. The issue of historical injustices associated with powers that be notwithstanding. Everyone in Galania deserves hope and assistance to navigate these murky waters”, the respondent noted.