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Lives protected; jobs safeguarded through COVID-19 interventions

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Finance Minister
Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

The government has implemented various programmes and interventions to ensure that economic activities recover and minimise job losses since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020.

These include GH¢600 million Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS), Ghana Cares Obaatan pa Programme and establishment of the Development Bank Ghana (DBG), the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

“The CAPBuSS by the NBSSI now the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), which provided soft loans to 302,001 small and medium scale businesses across the country to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic and protect jobs. A total of GH¢600 million was utilized,” Mr Ofori-Atta, made this known in Parliament today (June 22) when answering questions on how much Ghana mobilised in resources to fight the pandemic and how much was actually spent.

He said the Ghana Cares Obaatan pa Programme was launched in November 2020 to make strategic investments in the real sector of the economy.

He said a total amount released as at end 2021 was GH¢539 million out of the total programmed amount of GH¢1,510 million; and the establishment of the Development Bank Ghana to address gaps in the Ghanaian credit markets, especially the availability of medium- and long-term finance for the private sector.

He said a total amount of GH¢853 million has been transferred to the bank as seed money.

The minister observed that these measures were deployed to revitalise the economy and protect jobs as part of measures to stabilise the economy after the devastating impact of the pandemic.

Amount sourced

He said the government mobilised GH¢18.19 billion out of the programmed GH¢19.3 billion in 2020 from various funding sources.

He said the government programmed funding of Gh¢1.2 billion to finance the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.

This programme focused on achieving five key objectives including limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread and provide adequate care for the sick.

The rest are to limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life; and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.

Response plan

The minister stated that the Ministry of Health also led the preparation and implementation of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan which was financed with funds from the World Bank.

An amount of US$230 million was secured from various facilities under the World Bank to support the implementation of the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP).