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Evidence from the National Income Dynamics Study —Coronavirus Rapid Mobile (Nids-Cram) survey shows just how hard the Covid-19 lockdown has hit poor communities. Unemployment among people living in urban townships and informal settlements appears to have more than doubled. Almost half of households thus ran out of money to buy food, causing extensive hunger and social distress.

The situation would have been even worse without government grants, which were topped up in June and reach about half of  households in these areas. One in four survey respondents also benefited from the new Covid-19 grant aimed at unemployed adults with no other income. These special payments were only supposed to provide temporary relief and could be withdrawn this month. ..

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