Accra, April 5, 2020 - Government through the Ministries of Finance and Gender, Children and Social Protection, is embarking on a food distribution drive to ensure that needy people in areas under the restriction of movement directive by H. E. the President, live in comfort.
The directive, which affected Accra, Kumasi, Kasoa and Tema, was part of measures taken by government to control the spread of the novel COVID-19. It was also to ensure that people were not too burdened by the closure of businesses and trade activities, which might have been their source of daily income before the issuance of the directive.
The initiative being done in collaboration with faith based organizations including; the Christian Council of Ghana, the National Catholic Secretariat, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, the National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches, the Charismatic Bishops Conference and the office of the National Chief Imam, Ahmadiya Muslim Mission etc. to undertake the distribution
The items included bags of rice and gari, boxes of tomato paste, frytol cooking oil, sardines, crates eggs, and bags of beans were given to religious bodies to distribute to surrounding communities within their jurisdiction.
Donation points in Accra included; the Osu Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Wesley Methodist Cathedral, Assemblies of God Church Headquarters, Action Chapel, Holy Spirit Cathedral, and the Chief Imam’s residence. Leadership of the various religious bodies were tasked to identify the genuine needy people in their communities and share the items to them.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, at the presentation at the Wesley Cathedral indicated that government entered into a partnership with the faith based organisations, as they had demonstrated their commitment in supporting the needy, adding that, they managed about 40 per cent of the nation’s health institutions.
The key objective of the partnership, he said, was for the organisations to mobilize and administer resources to address prevalent socio-economic concerns and social protection for the vulnerable.
Government through this step, was taking advantage of the communication and logistical channels of the Christian and Muslim community to ensure that outreach towards low income communities was more thorough and occurred at the micro household level to avoid the gathering of people and to ensure adherence to the recommended social distancing protocols, he explained.
“While this intervention will not immediately solve all the problems within these communities, it’s an effort that supplements the churches efforts to reach out to as many of our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters whose inability to go to work has led to hunger at home”, he added.
Mrs. Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection also added that more than 150,000 packs of dry and hot food would be distributed to needy households and individuals in Kumasi and its surrounding communities beginning, Monday 6th April, 2020.
Apart from supporting the needy with food, the Minister said about 500 capacity hostel was secured for kayayei, while an additional accommodation was provided for the deprived and homeless to ensure they lived in comfort during the period of restriction.
Mr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, the Minister of Inner Cities and Zongo Development said many people, in the Zongo communities were deprived, hence the support would enable them cater for their families and encourage less or no movement among those areas. He encouraged Muslims to strictly adhere to the preventive measures set by the Ghana Health Service to stay safe from the pandemic.
Other Ministers of State present include Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Hon. Ursula Owusu, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Hon. Ishmael Ashitey, Hon. Henry Quartey, Alhaji Abdul-Hanan Wahab Aludiba, Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation Mr. Eric Nana Agyeman-Prempeh. END