COVID-19 lockdown: Government announces free food for over 400,000 Ghanaians
Government has begun the distribution of free meals to over 400,000 Ghanaians in locked-down areas amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.
This was announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday when he addressed the nation to update Ghanaians on some measures being taken by the government in the fight of the pandemic.
In his address, Nana Akufo-Addo that admitted the hardship the situation has brought on the majority of Ghanaians adding that there was however the need for the provision of “food packages and hot meals” to enable poor households to minimise their vulnerability.
“We are in difficult times, and that is why I directed the Minister for Finance to send to Parliament the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), whose objective is to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, minimize job losses, and source additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports.”
He added that, “through this Programme, the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Local Government and Rural Development, and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), working with MMDCEs and the faith-based organizations, have begun to provide food for up to four hundred thousand (400,000) individuals and homes in the affected areas of the restrictions. This begun in Accra today and will begin in Kumasi tomorrow. It will come in the form of dry food packages and hot meals and will be delivered to vulnerable communities in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa.”
Kayayei to be catered for
Following widespread concern over the treatment of some stranded head porters, also known as kayayei, the government has committed to feeding and housing the needy kayayei in Kumasi and the Greater Accra Region during the partial lockdown.
The plight of the kayayei and other extremely vulnerable groups was brought to the fore after over 70 of the kayayei trying to sneak home to Walewale in North East Region were stopped at Ejisu and returned to Accra.
A lot of kayayei who operate in Accra migrate from northern Ghana are known to be homeless and many of them are young mothers.
But the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, revealed that the government had already scouted possible locations for housing the kayayei.
“For those who have their apartments, we will find ways of sending logistics to them to keep them from coming to town and for those who we are going to keep at identified places that we have found, we are going to cater for them,” she explained.
The Minister also noted that the state had gotten support from some corporate bodies and groups which have committed to providing meals for them “so all in all we have enough food or them.”