The Minority in parliament has called for a comprehensive intervention plan for Ghanaians, especially those living on daily income to help them survive during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown.
According to the Minority, the US$35 million from the International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank Group, to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease does not provide enough support for vulnerable Ghanaians.
Parliament on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, approved the financial package to finance the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response with US$21.5 million expected to be expended on case detection, confirmation, contact tracing, recording and reporting as component one.
Sub-component of the money would be used to strengthen disease surveillance systems at points of entry, public health laboratories, and epidemiological capacity for early detection and confirmation of cases.
Out of the amount, US$12.7 million would be spent on containment, isolation and treatment with the focus on the leasing, renting, establishment and refurbishment of designated facilities and centres to contain and treat infected cases in a timely manner.
Besides that, a US$700,000 from the total sum would be used as social and financial support to households, particularly families of those who are isolated or quarantined.
These supports would be of among of other things includes psychosocial Counselling, food-baskets and feeding during the isolation, quarantine and treatment period.
The government is also allocating a sum of US$3.6 million for the training and capacity building for preparedness and response as well as the priority of service delivery.
Per the request before parliament, an amount of US$3.4 million of the fund would also be used to strengthen multi-sector national institutions and platforms for policy development and coordination of prevention and preparedness using “one health” approach.
But the Deputy Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Ketu North, Hon. Dr James Klutse Avedzi, at a press conference Thursday, April 2, 2020020, said the $700,000 allocated for affected persons of the COVID-19, is inadequate and the government should come out with more comprehensive plan to help Ghanaians survive.
The Minority also challenged Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to demonstrate how the Government intends to raise the remaining 65 million dollars of the 100 million dollars allocated to fight COVID-19.
They demanded from the Government to disclose to Ghanaians through Parliament of the source of remanning funding for the US$65 million and how it would be disbursed.
The approved US$35 million was to be sourced from a World Bank loan to finance the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project.
“As we speak, where the government is going to raise that US$ 65 million we all don’t know,” the Deputy Minority Leader and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, said.
“As representatives of the people….. We want to know how the Government is going to raise the US$ 65 million to fight the pandemic,” he added.
He said it was important for the Government to raise the money to be able to fight the COVID-19.
The Deputy Minority Leader also expressed concern about Government’s delay in bringing to the House the one billion Ghana cedis Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), which would be taken from the Ghana Stabilization Fund.
He said four days after the Minister of Finance had briefed the Legislature on the programme he had not yet given details on how the one billion cedis would be disbursed.
Dr Avedzi, however, gave the assurance that despite the concerns of the members of the Minority in Parliament on the deal, they would support the Finance Minister’s request to lower the cap on the Ghana Stabilization Fund (GSF) from the current US$ 300 million to US$ 100 million.
He explained that the US$ 200 million would be made available for the CAP to support other sectors of the economy as well as address ss economic, fiscal and social impact of the COVID-19.