Ghana’s $100 million, requested from international donors, to fund the fight against the dreaded coronavirus pandemic has arrived.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced this in his Monday briefing in Parliament, on the effects of the global health crisis on Ghana’s economy.
“Mr. Speaker, contrary to the views of some sceptics that the money is not available, I wish to assure you that the money has been secured,” he said on the floor of an eerily quiet chamber.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his nationwide broadcast on March 11, revealed he had tasked his Finance Minister to “make available” more than half a billion cedis.
The money, he said, was “to fund the expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education.”
At the time, all of Ghana’s neighbouring countries had recorded cases. But Ghana had not.
Some 19 days since the broadcast, Ghana now has 152 confirmed cases, five deaths and two recoveries. The country’s two main economic centres – Accra and Kumasi are under a two-week lockdown.
Five days after the president’s address, the Finance Minister told Parliament that Ghana had applied to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for a share of the $10bn devoted to developing countries in their fight against coronavirus.
The Finance Minister’s revelation caused a stir in some sections of social media as some believed, the president’s statement suggested the money was domestic funds.
With the Finance Minister’s confirmation of the release of funds, the government has expressed confidence it has bridged the financing gap needed to fight the virus.