President Akufo-Addo has been commended by the Netherlands Government over his government’s management of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker who made the commendation said measures put in place by the Akufo-Addo government has been exemplary and worth emulating.
He made the comments when the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Accra handed over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Solidaridad, an international civil society organization at a short ceremony in Accra.
The equipment included face shields, surgical masks, FFP2 masks, gloves, gumboots, overalls, hair covers, and goggles. Other items are infrared thermometers, methylated spirit, bleach and alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Solidaridad will also distribute the equipment to seven health facilities that can be accessed by cocoa and oil palm growing communities in the Eastern, Central, Ashanti, Ahafo and Western North regions of Ghana, as part of the organization's COVID-19 response.
The beneficiary health facilities would include Sefwi Wiawso Government hospital, Goaso Government Hospital, Dunkwa Government Hospital, St. Francis Xavier Hospital, Assin Fosu, Suhum Government Hospital, Sabronum health centre and Wiawso Health Centre.
With the increasing COVID-19 infection rate in Ghana, the gesture by Solidaridad and its funding partner, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is to complement efforts by government and other entities to curb the spread of the virus among frontline healthcare workers.
The Dutch Ambassador, Ron Strikker assured of the Embassy's commitment to support Ghana in diverse ways to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As frontline workers lead the effort to deal with the pandemic, they are exposed to health and safety risks which cannot be overlooked. It is in this light that we are working with Solidaridad to contribute towards the protection of these frontline workers operating near communities where the Netherlands government supports cocoa and oil palm programmes,” Mr Strikker said.
For his part, the Regional Director of Solidaridad West Africa, Isaac Gyamfi said while Solidaridad, in collaboration with other stakeholders, is working to improve the lives of farmers in Ghana, the organization is also sensitive to the need to contribute toward the fight against COVID-19.
“We are already doing a lot to reach beneficiaries of our cocoa and oil palm programmes with remote extension support and the supply of PPE amidst the pandemic. But we also need to properly equip healthcare workers, who are a critical resource for securing the health and well-being of the public, including our beneficiary farmers, to carry out their work in a safe environment,” Mr Gyamfi explained.
The distribution of the equipment by Solidaridad is part of a broader COVID-19 response and resilience plan being implemented in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone where the organization implements cocoa, gold and oil palm sustainability programmes.
In these countries, except Nigeria, the Netherlands government funds the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP) implemented by Solidaridad to transform the cocoa sector of the countries. In Ghana, the Netherlands and Swiss governments jointly fund the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme (SWAPP), aimed at building a thriving and resilient oil palm economy.
Solidaridad has over 50 years of experience in developing solutions to make underprivileged communities more resilient. It currently works in over 40 countries, on five continents, through eight independently supervised regional offices. In West Africa, Solidaridad implements sustainability interventions in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the cocoa, gold and oil palm value chains.