The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is to support Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies (MMDAs) to prepare COVID-19 recovery plans.
The institutions, in a joint statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, said as part of the initiative, NDPC would support five selected MMDAs to review and re-prioritize activities in their 2021 Annual Action Plans, prepare recovery plans and enhance resilience against local and external shocks.
The statement said the initiative was also expected to generate new knowledge and lessons to inform the next Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework (2022–2025).
It said the process would be inclusive with the participation of local businesses, traditional authorities, civil society organizations, youth groups and faith-based organizations.
“While the impact of COVID-19 has been largely negative, we see the District Recovery Plans initiative as a great opportunity for districts to bring together government, businesses and communities to revitalize businesses and build resilient and inclusive local economies,” noted Dr. Kodjo Esseim Mensah– Abrampa, Director General of NDPC.
The statement said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the local and global economy through its effects on trade and investments, foreign and local travel, health systems, educational systems and business operations.
It said the effects of the pandemic were manifested at the metropolitan, municipal and district levels in the form of closure of businesses, loss in household incomes and a decline in human welfare and well-being, especially among the poor, vulnerable and marginalized population groups.
It noted that as part of the recovery efforts, the Government had put together the Ghana COVID Alleviation and Revitalization Enterprise Support (Ghana CARES) programme to stabilize and revitalize the economy.
The statement said the GH¢100billion development initiative to mitigate the economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and to anchor the transformation of the Ghanaian society was laudable.
It said given their proximity to the communities and understanding of the socio-economic and cultural contexts, MMDAs would play a lead role in translating the Ghana CARES programme into action at the local level.
It intimated that they would also support in putting in measures to build resilience against similar future events.
“Districts have an essential role to play in building back better amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We see this partnership as critical because it is bringing together key stakeholders to support the MMDAs in prioritizing their activities to facilitate the recovery process,” stated, Silke Hollander, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Ghana.
The statement said the activities under the initiative would take place from September to November 2020 with the pilot districts being Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Ketu South Municipal Assembly, Sefwi Wiawso Municipal Assembly, Sagnarigu District Assembly and Kassena–Nankan West District Assembly.