The government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has taken steps to provide cash relief to selected extremely poor and vulnerable persons and households who are not on any social protection programmes.
Under a COVID-19 Relief Cash Transfer, 125,000 specific vulnerable individuals and households across the country have been targeted, with payments expected be made in two instalments in November 2020 and January 2021.
The beneficiaries are expected to include homeless persons in Accra and Kumasi, persons living with disabilities, persons in witch camps, persons affected by floods as well as other extremely poor and vulnerable persons in the poorest regions of Ghana.
This forms part of commitment to ensuring that the welfare of all Ghanaians is catered for in national economic growth and development.
The country is being supported by its development partners, the World Bank, UNICEF and Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK), in the provision of the relief.
This was conveyed in a statement signed by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison.
Per the statement, the Ghana National Household Registry (GNHR), under the Ministry, will be responsible for determining the poverty and vulnerability status as well as the eligibility of all potential individuals and households for the Relief Cash Transfer.
“Depending on their situation, each beneficiary will receive a one-off temporary GoG COVID-19 Relief Cash Transfer payment ranging from GHC220.00 up to GHC550.00,” it said.
“The support will enable beneficiaries to meet their basic nutritional needs and improve their livelihoods to protect themselves against the coronavirus pandemic while mitigating its impact of poverty reduction efforts in Ghana,” it added.
The Ministry therefore entreated all stakeholders to respect all the COVID-19 protocols, stressing the government’s commitment to working closely with all stakeholders on this project to reach out to extremely poor and vulnerable persons who have been adversely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.
“Through our collective support, we should give hope and opportunity to all Ghanaians to enhance inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development,” the statement indicated.
COVID-19 and government
Data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicate that since March 2020, 77.4 per cent of households reported a reduction in income while 52.1 per cent have reduced their food consumption.
The government quickly put in place several measures to support all Ghanaians, including the poor and vulnerable, in the wake of the pandemic through the provision of free electricity and water, provision of nutritious hot meals for persons living within the lockdown areas, free healthcare and support for persons who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and provision of hot-nutritious meals to final year students in Senior and Junior High Schools as well as the second year JHS students nationwide.