The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, has expanded its outreach to feed more needy and vulnerable people within the restricted areas – Accra, Kumasi, Tema, and Kasoa.The Ministries since the restriction of movement directive from President Akufo-Addo has collaborated with faith-based organisations to distribute uncooked food items and cooked food to the poor and destitute.
The beneficiaries include kayayie, persons living in slum areas, street children and adults, persons with disabilities, and aged poor.
Apart from the faith-based organisations, the Ministries partnered the Accra and Kumasi Metropolitan Assemblies, Nongovernmental organisations, and traditional leaders to identify the genuinely needy people within their jurisdiction to support them.
The move was due to the inability of the beneficiaries to go about their daily trading activities that fetched them income as a result of the partial lockdown of the country, as a step to control the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Rita Owusu-Amankwaa, the Director of Social Protection, Ministry of Gender, said the Ministry shared over 250,000 packs of cooked food in Accra and 150,000 in Kumasi every day.
The food items comprised rice, gari, tomato paste, sardines, eggs, yam, and beans.
She said the foods were prepared by some caterers who were supervised by the Ministries.
“Since people are in their houses and aren’t working, the Government knew many people will have a challenge with feeding themselves. That is why we had to roll out this intervention,” she said.
Dr Owusu-Amankwaa advised the beneficiaries to wash their hands often with soap under running water, bath at least twice daily, use hand sanitizers often, cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and observe the social distancing protocols.
Akumaa Mamazimbi, a television presenter and Founder of the ‘Mamazimbi Foundation' also received food items for 300 vulnerable widows of her Foundation.
She expressed gratitude to the Ministry for recognising needy widows when the nation was battling with COVID-19.
Naa Shormey Nortey, a member of the Osu Traditional Council, who received food items on behalf of the community, encouraged members of the community to help the government in the fight against the respiratory disease by adhering to the President and Ghana Health Service directives.
“Initially people thought they would starve when we were asked to stay home. However, the support government is giving us has made staying home easy for many people,” she said.
Mr Kofi Ngleshie Alata, Asafoatse Okuakawanim of Jamestown, after receiving the food items on behalf of the Jamestown Traditional Council for the needy people of the area, thanked the Ministry for recognising how vulnerable many people in Jamestown were and going to their aid.
Mr Ebenezer Quaye, Deputy Director, National Disaster Management Organisation, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, also received food items to be distributed to people living in Old Fadama and its environs.
He said there was a crisis in Old Fadama about feeding since the imposition of the restriction of movement.
Hence, the support from the government was timely and would enable members of the community to observe the government’s COVID-19 preventive directives.