The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) has handed over in excess of GHȻ400,000.00 worth of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to 14 District Departments of Agriculture and Regional Coordinating Councils of the Upper West, Savannah and North East Regions.

Done on behalf of the German Government and the European Union through the Market Oriented Agriculture Project (MOAP) North-West, the PPE included; 5,020 re-useable face masks, 212 gallons of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, 3,236 of 200 ml containers of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and 304 Jumbo sized rolls of tissue paper.

The rest are; 1,120 dispensers of 300 and 500 ml of liquid soap, 189 infra-red thermometers, 102 Veronica bucket stands-equipped with 40 litres Veronica buckets and 15-litre handwashing basins, 100 foot operated handwashing stations, and 5,229 posters on COVID-19.

Presenting the items, Dr Andrew Harberd, Team Leader, MOAP North-West, noted that as a strong implementing organisation with extensive experience in crisis situations, GIZ recognised the need for global cooperation to beat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Therefore, it had already, in 2020, earmarked 110 million Euro for emergency COVID-19 support measures, whilst expecting to allocate a further 130 million before the end of the year, he said.

The measures are part of the Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme drawn up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr Harberd added.

“COVID-19 started impacting the work we do from around the middle of March, when, because of COVID-19 mitigation measures, we could no longer hold meetings or trainings with large numbers of people and were forced to put in place a rotation of our staff between home and the office, disrupting our normal work patterns”, he said.

Dr Harberd pointed out that COVID-19 had clearly shown that humanity was linked at a global level, and it was clear also that international cooperation would be vital to managing and limiting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let us hope and pray, that with the use of these items amongst our partners that none of them will contract COVID-19 and that we contribute towards a situation, where we continue to record few cases of the disease in Upper West, Savannah and North-East Regions and beyond”, said Leader of the MOAP North-West Team.

Touching on the MOAP North-West project, Dr Harberd noted that it started 16 years ago as a project in the South of Ghana and in 2017, it was, with European Union and German Development Cooperation Co-funding, extended to the area then known as SADA Zone 6, in Northern Ghana.

“At this time, MOAP-North West also became one important component project of a very much larger European Union programme: “Productive Investments for Agriculture in the Northern Savannahs Ecological Zone”, which comprises, a feeder roads project, irrigation infrastructure development, an agricultural industry matching grants facility and the Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH) project”, he explained further.

“Currently, we are coming to the end of Phase I of the MOAP-NW project and Phase II should continue from the start of 2021 to the end of 2024”.

We are working in seven value chains – sorghum and rice, groundnut and soya, cashew, mango and vegetables. We also work closely with farmers, Farmer Associations, Aggregators and Processors, smallholder farmers and our other private sector agribusiness partners and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).

Alhaji Issahaku Tahiru Moomin, Wa Municipal Chief Executive who received the items on behalf of the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, thanked GIZ and partners for the gesture, adding that they have proven to be a key development partner.

He said COVID-19 had impacted negatively on global economies including; Ghana, stressing however that government had put in place pragmatic measures to mitigate the impact of the disease on its citizens.

Again, he said government had demonstrated its commitment to the agriculture sector through the roll out of numerous pro-poor interventions such as the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs), One-Village-One-Dame (1V1D), and Rearing for Food and Export among others.

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