Lockdown: CSOs gear up to feed the poor and vulnerable

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Ghana under the leadership of the Ghana CSOs Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has begun implementing a number of interventions as part of efforts to complement the Government’s effort in the fight against the Corona Virus Disease.

The Platform will, in the coming days, roll out the first phase of implementation of the CSOs COVID-19 Response Fund in the localities of Accra, Kasoa and Kumasi.

Ghana confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 12th and has since then reported a total of 566 infections and eight deaths as at 12th April 2020. A total of ten regions have reported cases with Greater Accra (452) and Ashanti Region (49) recording the highest number of cases.

In a bid to curtail the rapid spread of the virus, the Government announced a series of measures including a two-week partial lockdown of Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi, Kasoa and Tema.

On March 30th, the Ghana CSOs Platform launched a COVID-19 Response Fund to be managed by a Nine-member Committee drawn from its membership and other strategic partners. The Fund is currently mobilizing donations in cash and in kind from CSOs, individual philanthropists and the general public to support the poor and vulnerable within the period of the pandemic. The Fund has so far raised GH₵83,850 out of a target of GH₵200,000.

Implementation of the Fund is being done in phases, according to a statement released by the group.

The first phase will target Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), Street children, the Aged and mentally challenged in the three locations.

Food items such as bags of rice, gallons of vegetable oil, water and soap will be provided to support the daily needs of the identified groups, particularly during the lockdown. It is expected that about 3,000 households will benefit from the intervention.

“Given the unscrupulous increases in food prices, the provision of food items will go a long way to alleviate the suffering and reduce the burden on families and loved ones who are saddled with the daily task of taking care of these vulnerable ones”, the statement in part read.

The COVID-19 Response Committee, the statement added, will be monitoring the implementation of the Funds to ensure that the items reach the targeted beneficiaries. A Monitoring and Evaluation strategy is being developed to ensure accountability in the distributions.

The group has therefore, urged institutions, corporate bodies and individuals with donations to the Fund to contact the Co-Chair, Ghana CSOs Platform on SDGs, George Osei-Akoto Bimpeh, on 0501204944/0544375134.