The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Prof George Gyan-Baffour, has said the government is pursuing inclusive social development policies to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on Ghanaians.
He stated that the government was focusing on several priority areas, including education, health, employment and gender empowerment to reduce social and economic risks.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour said this when he presented Ghana’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 2022 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations (UN).
He said Ghana like other countries had witnessed the erosion of gains made over the decades due to the Covid-19 pandemic, explaining that the proportion of the poor was estimated to have increased to 25.5 per cent in 2020, after decades of consistent decline. That, he attributed to the scaling-down of economic activities largely due to the pandemic.
To mitigate the shocks of the pandemic on economic activities, Prof. Gyan-Baffour said the government instituted key measures such as the Ghana CARES Programme; GHC100 billion post Covid-19 programme to stabilize, revitalize and transform the economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians.
“In addition, the government also instituted the YouStart Initiative programme aimed at building an entrepreneurial nation by creating one million jobs over the next three years; by supporting youth-led enterprises with start-up loans and equipment worth between 50,000 to 400,000 Ghana Cedis,” he added.
He indicated that the results of recent Covid-19 tracker surveys showed that those actions were having a positive impact, adding that the “government stimulus package to businesses led to an increase in firm sales by 11.5 per cent, with small firms benefitting the most at 22 per cent.
Households with reduced income have seen a reduction from 77.4 per cent to 65.9 per cent from June to September in 2020 as a result of the government interventions.”
On health, he said the government had started a health infrastructural development programme – Agenda 111 –to boost the provision of healthcare infrastructure in all districts and regions.
In addition, the government was also leveraging technology to expand medical drone delivery services to eliminate stockouts, cold chain breakages and accelerate emergency response to hard-to-reach areas.
Adwoa Ocran, ISD