Ghana has been selected among only four initial countries across the world to receive financial support from the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility, established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
The other three selected countries are Colombia, the Philippines and Turkey. This was announced by UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner at the SDG Business Forum during the UN General Assembly last week, the largest and most inclusive UN convening of private sector leaders, under the motto “Recover Better Together”.
The COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility is a global initiative and a collaboration bringing together public and private sector partners to help local communities recover better from the pandemic.
It is a response to corporate calls to action for private sector leaders and governments to work together to address the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Emmanuel Doni-Kwame, Secretary-General of ICC Ghana in a statement said “The pandemic has radically changed the lives of entrepreneurs and their countries’ economic environment, especially in Africa. As the focus is on Ghana, we are ready to support scale-up this global impact initiative to help redefine the future of business.”
Ms Valentina Mintah, ICC Executive Board Member said “The Global Facility will provide practical support for the real economy, delivered through in-country projects targeted at the needs of SMEs.”
“These will range from digital skills training to the delivery of major infrastructure projects. Ghana’s inclusion in the initial four participating countries serves as a solid foundation for Africa, as the geographical scope expands and the facility develops,” she said.
In a video recording message played at the SDG Business Forum during the UN General Assembly, Ms Mintah stated, “Small business owners and entrepreneurs want to have their challenges understood, their ideas heard, and their efforts to recover better, recognised and built upon by others. SMEs need a way to facilitate this vital exchange of ideas, learning and experience with each other and with organisations and institutions in a position to support them.”
Mr Achim Steiner said “As COVID-19 disrupts societies, development agendas must adjust accordingly. There is a need for inclusive multilateralism, drawing on the critical contributions of civil society, business, foundations, the research community, local authorities, cities and regional governments. By unlocking public-private and private-private cooperation for a sustainable response to COVID-19 challenges, it is possible to recover better and build more resilient economies”.
He said the facility was the first of its kind, designed to join forces across public and private sectors to serve humanity in an imperative moment, adding “Solidarity to ‘Recover Better Together’ can boost our collective efforts not only to cope with the crisis but overcome it”.
UNDP’s footprint across some 170 countries and territories, combined with the UN Global Compact’s network of more than 10,000 companies and 68 Local Networks around the world, and the International Chamber of Commerce’s network of over 45 million companies, multiplies our collective capacity and potential.”
The COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility is supported by strategic partners DHL, Microsoft and PwC, and is open for other like-minded private sector organisations that want to join the initiative. The strategic partners are expected to add their expertise and technology to support this transformational recovery.
The Global Facility will operate at both the global and national levels. It aims to co-create solutions that are tailored to the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in each area and the specificities of the local private sector and government context. The geographical scope and participating partners are expected to expand as the Global Facility develops.