Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has lauded the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for its contributions to Ghana’s socio-economic development.
She observed that its programmes in Ghana were helping accelerate sustainable development.
The Minister made the commendation when Madam Jennifer Overton, the West Africa Regional Director of the CRS paid a courtesy call on her, in Accra.
The courtesy call was to provide highlights of the Organisation’s work in Ghana over the past 63 years, as well as share CRS’ five-year strategic plan.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey expressed joy over the longstanding development partnership between Ghana and the CRS, especially in the health sector, which was consistent with the government’s agenda to enhance service delivery to all Ghanaians across the country.
She said the government attached great importance to the health sector and highlighted some initiatives such as the launch of Ghana’s largest drone delivery service to improve healthcare delivery, by rapidly delivering emergency essential life-saving medications and blood products, especially in hard-to-reach areas.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) under the current government had improved significantly, through the introduction of technologically enhanced procedures, in its delivery and health coverage.
She added that in furtherance of the government’s Health infrastructure drive, a firm commitment had been made for the execution of Agenda 111-the construction of over 100 District Hospitals, seven Regional Hospitals and two Psychiatric Hospitals-throughout the country.
The Minister lamented the challenge posed by the outbreak of COVID-19 to health service delivery all over the world and thanked the CRS for its efforts at filling in some gaps at community levels in Ghana in the collective fight to save humanity.
She elaborated on the commitment made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on measures to fight the pandemic including the acquisition and deployment of vaccines to mitigate the spread of the virus in Ghana.
The Minister said the establishment of the Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) and the COVID-19 Emergency Respond Fund (COERF) for instance helped in providing timely emergency relief services to flood victims in various parts of the Upper East Region in 2020 aside other collaborative efforts towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among the frontline staff.
She said Ghana was concerned about the worrisome security situation in the Sahel Region and was, therefore, deeply engaged in international mediation efforts to restore peace and security in the Sahel and commended efforts of CRS in brokering peace in the Region through its Sahel Peace Initiative (SPI).
Madam Overton congratulated Madam Ayorkor Botchwey on her reappointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and said it was a joy to see African women in leadership positions.
She thanked the Minister for her support during the recent signing of a host-country agreement between Ghana and the CRS and said the CSR was the first international non-governmental organization to come to Ghana in 1958 and that it was very proud in partnering the Government towards the nation’s socio-economic development.