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As Ghana COVID-19 cases rise to seven, government didn’t have $100m announced by president

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Ken Ofori-Atta – Finance Minister

Ghanaians are angered and dismayed as it has emerged that the $100 million announced by the President to fight COVID-19 isn’t available. Apparently, the government is now going to look for the money – and just when the number of infected persons in the country has risen to seven.

The President, Nana Adoo Danquah Akufo-Addo in an address to the nation Wednesday March 11, 2020 said he has directed the Minister of Finance to make available the cedi equivalent of $100 million to enhance Ghana’s coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness and response plan. The announcement was greeted with applause, hope and excitement. The country subsequently announced for the first time, that two people have been confirmed to have been infected with the virus. The number has since risen to seven.

“The Minister of Finance has made available the cedi equivalent of $100 million to enhance our coronavirus preparedness and response plan, that is to fund infrastructure, purchase materials and equipment and public education,” he said.

But the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has told the country’s Parliament that the money isn’t available and the government was now in talks with two Bretton Woods Institutions – the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to try and access a total of $22 billion the two international finance institutions are making available to its member-countries to fight the disease.

“We are currently in discussion with the World Bank to tap into the $12 billion Bank fast-track COVID-19 facility to help close the financing gap. In addition we are in discussion with the IMF to access part of a $10 billion facility made available by the IMF to address the corona virus through the rapid credit facility,” he told the House.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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