According to Dr Fred Muhumuza, an economist, at least 43 per cent (18m) of Ugandans are vulnerable and because of the lockdown, it means a huge fraction of these will easily fall back into poverty. This estimate is above government’s own official estimate that puts the figure of those likely to fall into poverty because of Covid-19 at only 780,000 people as per the Ministry of Finance estimates.
As many as
15 to 17 million Ugandans will likely fall into poverty as the Coronavirus
(COVID -19) blockade takes a toll on the economy with their day-to-day income sources shut
down, analysts have said.
likely to fall into poverty are the vulnerable Ugandans that have been sitting
on the cliff - occasionally falling below and above the poverty line
whenever there is a small shock.
Dr Fred Muhumuza, an economist, at least 43 per cent (18m) of Ugandans are vulnerable and because of the lock-down, it means a huge fraction (15-17 million people) of these will easily fall
back into poverty.
//Cue in; “the
estimate is above the government’s own official estimate that puts the figure of
those likely to fall into poverty because of Covid-19 at only 780,000 people as
per the Ministry of Finance estimates.
Kasaija, the Finance minister, said “the low activity in industry and services
sectors will result in loss of jobs further leading to a decline in economic growth
and an increase in the level of poverty. The number of people that could be
pushed into poverty is estimated at approximately 780, 000.”
stop the spread of covid-19 have left several sectors closed. These include areas
that employed many Ugandans like markets, bodabodas, retail trade among others.
like transport, hotels and tourism have also shut down. Some 60per cent of Ugandans is employed in the informal
sector, which means they earn daily income – measures like suspension of public
transport, closure of Kikuubo business Centre, closure of bars, and markets
hits them hard.
said those already below the poverty line – estimated at 21.4 per cent (9 million Ugandans) –
will fall further into poverty.
//Cue in; “those
Cue out…. poor
The Centre for Budget and Tax
Policy, a local think tank, has said about 7 million Ugandans require direct government intervention
to ensure they don’t starve.
the overall health of the economy will suffer a blow, Kasaija said. In a
statement to Parliament, Kasaija has indicated that Uganda’s economy will grow
at just over 5 per cent, a drop from the earlier projected 6 per cent with the impact of
the Coronavirus filters into the economy.
forecast rhymes with what researchers at the Economic Policy Research Centre
(EPRC) have projected.
an EPRC research fellow, said the impact on the economy will depend on how long
the virus will take to be controlled. He said if it is just two months, then
anything between 0.5 and 1 per cent will be lost.
government can do to help those likely to fall into poverty, Muhumuza said
government’s hands are tied. He said it can try to reduce on taxes so that
those who will get pay cuts can retain much of their income.
Lakuma said the government
has little room to intervene to reach all the vulnerable people and business
that will likely collapse. He said, for
now, the government should steer clear of that discussion. While the government is not yet certain of what it
can do to help those that will be hit hard, one thing is certain: hard times