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We spent ¢54.3M on free food distribution during lockdown – Finance Minister

The Finance Minister has revealed that spent government ¢54.3 million on cooked meals distributed during the 21-day lockdown in Accra and Kumasi.

According to Ken Ofori-Atta, ¢50.2 million was also transferred to over 400,000 most-vulnerable individuals under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme.

Giving a breakdown in his Mid-year Budget review to Parliament Thursday, he said the Gender Ministry provided 1,827,581 packed hot meals while the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) gave out 917,142 packs to the old and less privileged persons in the affected areas.

“In collaboration with Faith-Based Organizations, government also distributed dry food packages to about 470,000 families.

“Let me extend my deepest gratitude to the Faith-based organisations for this unique partnership with government and may the Lord count this as righteousness for the FBOs and government,” he said.

In April this year, government embarked on an exercise to provide food for underprivileged persons in parts of the country that are under lockdown.

The package was targeted at some 400,000 individuals and homes in the affected areas of the restrictions imposed by President Nana Akufo-Addo in his bid to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, a few days into the exercise, the government was accused of distributing the food and other relief items on a partisan basis – choosing members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) over non-members. Government has since denied that claim.

Giving a review of government expenditure in that regard, the Finance Minister said, “Mr Speaker, the support to households, in terms of supply of dry food packs and hot cooked meals cost Government ¢54.3 million to enable them to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

“This was in addition to an amount of ¢50.2 million transferred to the 400,000 most-vulnerable individuals under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme”.

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