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GH¢11 million COVID-19 Relief Fund launched

BY: Nii Martey M. Botchway
Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison launching the programme in Accra. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY
Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison launching the programme in Accra. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY

The government, with support from the World Food Programme (WFP), is to disburse funds to vulnerable persons and households in the Greater Accra, Western and Ashanti regions.

Under the cash transfer to COVID-19 affected daily wage earners, an amount of GH¢11 million will be disbursed to beneficiaries to cushion them against the devastating effect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The WFP is providing funding for the programme while the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR), under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, is the implementing agency.

Launch

At the launch of the programme at Mantse Agbonaa at James Town in Accra last Thursday, the national Coordinator of the GNHR, Dr Prosper Laari, said 75,000 persons would benefit from the relief fund.

He said 65,000 of beneficiaries were daily wage earners in the Greater Accra Region, while the rest  were smallholder farmers in the Ashanti and Western regions.

Payments

Dr Laari said beneficiary households would receive different amounts of money depending on the number of eligible members in a household.
He said the minimum amount to be paid had been pegged at GH¢53, which would be transferred through mobile money wallets each month for five months.

The intervention, the coordinator said, was a renewed strategy to help targeted people survive the impact of the pandemic and also reduce poverty by smoothening consumption and promoting human capital development among extremely poor households in the country.

The GNHR, Dr Laari further said, had gathered data to help in the implementation of social intervention programmes for the poor and vulnerable in the country.

He said since the outbreak of the pandemic, the GNHR, a unit mandated to create a single national household register of the poor and vulnerable for effective targeting of social protection interventions, had collected data on about 80,000 poor and vulnerable people in the Greater Accra Region.

"Because of the impact of the pandemic on income and livelihood, I want to appeal to the government, individuals, corporate organisations and other stakeholders to consider these groups of people when rolling out intervention programmes," Dr Laari added.

Assistance

The WFP County Director, Ms Rukia Yacoub, said following the profiling of COVID-19 affected people by the GNHR, the WFP had extended assistance to the government’s social protection programme to help the urban poor recover from any negative impact of the pandemic on livelihoods.

According to her, the WFP was concerned about the millions of people already prone to food insecurity and malnutrition who had further slipped down the poverty line as a result of the pandemic.

She said her outfit was working with governments globally to strengthen and expand social protection programmes to address and sustain food production, trade distribution and consumption, and also support national health systems with improved supply chains and nutrition services for the most vulnerable.

"The WFP's support in Ghana has focused on rural areas, but this time around we are supporting the government to help address urban poverty," she added.

Priorities

For her part, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, who launched the programme, said the GNHR would in the coming months profile priority areas, including the disabled, street children, alleged witches and female porters (kayayei) across some hotspots in the country for support.

She commended the WFP for the gesture and urged beneficiaries of the programme to make good use of the support to better their lives.