The Coronavirus pandemic has drastically taken a heavy toll on human lives and economic activity. Eradicating poverty and hunger will be impossible without urgent and focused internal cooperation efforts directed at long-term development, Partners speaking at the launch of the Emergency Support to Rural Livelihoods and Food Systems noted today.
“The coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis must drive home the message to all rich and poor that their destinies are tangled” Rukia Yacoub, World Food Programme Representative and Country Director in Ghana, told Representatives at the launch.
“The Country Director mentioned that there is a need for a common plan and strategy for internal recovery and the survival and prosperity of all in our region.
It’s important to note that well-targeted social protection cushions the poor, protects them from economic destitution and prevents the complete erosion of long-term gains in human development.
According to the partners, the initiative is providing cash transfers to protect the livelihoods, incomes, and resilience of 5,000 extremely vulnerable households in the poorest districts in the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West regions, from the impact of COVID 19 pandemic and from climate change.
World Food Programme’s role is to support the implementation of the cash transfer component of this Emergency Support to Rural Livelihoods and Food Systems project which will provide US$ 1.5 million to 5,000 extremely vulnerable households.
in line with this initiative and agenda, World Food Programme itself has also contributed US$ 300,000 to this project. The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change” she said.
Emphasizing the profound economic damage the pandemic is having on rural folks where poverty and hunger are on the rise, Mr. Robert Patrick Anokobiah, acting Chief Director for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture said that the challenges of this rural folk’s needs new innovations within the agriculture value chain and provision of good agricultural infrastructures across the country.
“Regional cooperation with development organizations, was crucial for our struggle against COVID-19 pandemic and it continues to be necessary so that together we can tackle the effects of the crises we are facing,” Mr. Anokobiah said.
This project is targeting 25,000 households including youth, persons with disability and smallholder farmers between the ages of 18 to 35 with each person receiving about GH¢ 1000.
Mr. Anokobiah said, Government will intensify focusing on technological solutions and innovative financing models, noting that, fighting growing global hunger and poverty needs to be addressed through global partnerships and greater long-term investments in the rural people who grow so much of the world’s food, but often are the poorest and hungriest.
“This initiative will enable the vulnerable to be better able to build resilience against shocks such as the COVID 19 pandemic.
An estimated 63 per cent of the world’s poor people work in agriculture, the overwhelming majority on rural small farms. While they produce much of the world’s food, they remain vulnerable to hunger and often struggle to make a decent living” they added.
The Media Launch for Cash Transfer Components of the Emergency Support to Rural Livelihoods and Food Systems Exposed to COVID 19 was held at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture Information and Resource Centre here in Accra.
Also, present at the Media launch were representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), GASIP and Ghana National Household Registry.