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, live in comfort.
The directive which affected Accra, Kumasi, Kasoa and Tema, was part of measures government took to control the spread of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The support 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 Ministries collaborated with faith based organisations including; the Catholic Church of Ghana, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, the National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches, the Catholic Bishops Conference and the office of the National Chief Imam to distribute the items.
The items, made up of 400 bags of rice and gari, 2,500 boxes of tomato paste, 600 boxes of frytol cooking oil, 1,250 boxes of sardines, 800 crates of eggs, and 133 bags of beans were given to selected religious bodies to distribute to surrounding communities within their jurisdiction.
Reception points in Accra in that regard included; the Osu Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Wesley Methodist Cathedral, Assemblies of God Church Headquarters, 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.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said 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 mobilise 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.
Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said more than 150,000 packs of dry and hot food would be distributed to needy households and individuals in Kumasi and its surrounding communities from Monday April 6, 2020.
Apart from supporting the needy with food, the Minister said about 500 seater-capacity hostel was secured for kakaye, while an additional accommodation was provided for the destitute 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 to fend 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.
Reverend Nii Teiko Dagadu, the District Minister of Osu Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, expressed gratitude to government for the support.
He emphasised that the support “was not for church members, but for community members who were in dire need”, hence gave an assurance that the items would be distributed accordingly.