27-11-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
There are two million new poor people in Kenya since the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency.
A World Bank report has reported that the pandemic has increased the number of those who have fallen below the minimum daily subsistence threshold by 4%.
This is due, according to the report, to the sharp drop in incomes and the exponential increase in the unemployment rate, which almost doubled in the last quarter.
Hourly workers have seen their workload fall from 50 to 38 hours per week while the average income of family businesses has fallen by almost half.
The update on Kenya's economy, covering the months from April to October, shows that the country's growth fell to -0.4% compared to 5.4% last year. "The economy was exposed to the effects of travel restrictions, containment measures and behavioural responses," the statement states, "and to disruptions in trade and travel (which mainly affected foreign currency gains, such as those from tourism, flower, tea and coffee exports). All this has exacerbated food insecurity and increased human pain and suffering".
According to the World Bank, the decline is the result of the unforeseen worsening of GDP in the second quarter, when a slight recovery was expected and instead there was a sharp reduction in production in the service sector, particularly in education. As a result, the economy is expected to contract by one per cent in 2020 in the baseline scenario, and by 1.5 per cent in a more unfavourable scenario.
Increased spending on health care adjustment and borrowing will not improve the situation in the medium term. If Athens cries, in short, Sparta, although the effects of Covid-19 have not been so invasive, cannot smile.
Finally, the report shows that the hotel and catering sector (tourism) has contracted by 83.3%, subtracting 0.9 percentage points from overall GDP growth.
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