Ghana government says spends GH¢11.8b on COVID-19 response programme

Government says its response to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has been swift, bold, and effective with a focus on protecting lives and livelihoods.

It has expended GH¢11.788 billion in providing relief and interventions to Ghanaians, businesses, and institutions across the country.

In the process, it provided over 350,000 jobs, created investment opportunities for local businesses and thus, expressed its commitment to continue protecting lives and livelihoods and turn the COVID-19 crises into opportunities.

The government also saved $16.8 million for relying on local textile manufacturing companies to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) locally due to the global disruption of PPE.

Some of the interventions government rolled out included; provision of hot meals, free electricity to lifeline consumers and supply of water to households, tax waivers for frontline workers, supply of PPE to health workers, students and to the general public, fumigation of markets and schools as well as financial support to businesses that were adversely affected by the pandemic.

This came to light at the fourth edition of the Nation Building Updates, organised by the Ministry of information in Accra on Tuesday.

It was held on the theme, “Protecting Lives and Livelihoods in the Midst of Crises,” which provides a platform for Ministries, Departments and Agencies to render accounts of their stewardship to the public.

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Ms Abena Osei-Asare, in a presentation on government’s financial support, chronicled various interventions rolled out by the Akufo-Addo led the government to limit the importation and spread of the virus and revitalise businesses.

She said the government received GH¢1.2 billion ($219 million) from Ghana Stabilization Fund after the cap on it was lowered from $300 million to $100 million.

Additionally, it received GH¢5.9 billion ($1.0 billion) from the IMF Rapid Credit Facility, World Bank support of GH¢580 million ($100 million) for COVID-19 preparation and response plan, and AfDB support of GH¢406 million ($70 million).

Other support came from the European Union(EU) giving the government of Ghana $61 million grant, equivalent of GH¢353 million, and the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) relief bond of GH¢10 billion to support businesses.

She said GH¢100 billion is expected to be raised to administer the COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation (CARE) project, with the public sector expecting to raise 30 per cent and 70 per cent funds from the private sector.

Mr Robert Ahomka-Linsay, a Deputy Minister of Trades and Industry, in a presentation on local production of PPE, said a total of 18.8 million facemasks, 90,000 hospital gowns, 90,000 head covers, and 60,000 medical scrubs were produced locally and that GH¢3.6 billion was spent in producing the items.

The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who spearheaded the Government’s Risk Communication Team, expressed appreciation to the media for the yeoman’s job in helping to disseminate accurate information to the public.

He thanked the security agencies for enforcing the COVID-19 restrictions and the health workers for their dedication and sacrifices.

The Minister noted that President Akufo-Addo showed sterling leadership throughout the period and commended Ghanaians for their understanding and co-operation.

Ghana’s COVID-19 active case count currently stood at 397 with 312 deaths and 46,664 recoveries, representing 98.5 per cent recovery rate.

A total of 510,074 tests had been conducted.

Source: GNA

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