The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Ghana, Mr Sungsoo Kim, has expressed admiration at Ghana’s recovery rate of the coronavirus (COVID-19), urging the citizenry to keep to all outlined safety protocols.
“Despite the increasing number of cases in Ghana, the recovery rate is showing a promising trend and we should all play our individual role to reduce the community transmission. Please keep physical distancing, wear your mask and wash or sanitise your hands in order to protect our loved ones and neighbours,” he advised.
Mr Kim made the observation in Accra when he handed over sanitary and food items worth $50,000 to the government for onward distribution to Zongo and marginalised Muslim communities in the Greater Accra Region.
The donation, facilitated through the Korea International Cooperation Agency’s (KOICA) World Friends Korea (WFK) programme, is expected to benefit some 325 households and 1,300 individuals in Zongo communities across the region in alleviating the socio-economic impact COVID-19 had brought on them.
The items donated included disposable and reusable masks, hand sanitisers, veronica buckets, bars of soap, detergents, paper towels, boxes of sugar, bags of rice, cartons of cooking oil and chocolate drinks.
The Ambassador who used the opportunity to congratulate Muslims in the country on a successful Ramadan in the face of the pandemic expressed his government’s support to Ghana’s COVID-19 response initiatives while committing to the bilateral relationship existing between both countries.
“We hope this support comes timely to help the beneficiaries to ease some of the burden due to the economic impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic while also helping the communities to adhere to the prescribed guidelines in battling the virus transmission,” he stated.
Mr Kim noted that the Korean government through KOICA was re-aligning its current developmental projects in Ghana and sourcing new funds for “in-kind support” as part of its contribution to the fight against the pandemic.
“Although the partial lockdown has been lifted, many businesses especially the informal sector have been severely affected and the effect trickles down to the vulnerable and disabled who depend on their day-to day income and we hope our approach will be helpful to beneficiaries.”
Throwing more light on KOICA’s new interventions, Country Director, Yukyum Kim, pointed out that the Agency was partnering with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to re-programe some capacity building activities and re-allocate budget to support COVID-19 related interventions under its Improving Community-based Primary Healthcare through CHPS Strengthening (CHPS+) project in the Upper East region.
“The Tamale Infectious Disease Treatment Centre (IDTC) which was built by KOICA to boost public health emergency response is also currently supporting management of COVID-19 cases in Northern Ghana.
“KOICA is also in discussions with the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tamale Teaching Hospital under its Global Health Security Agenda Project to equip and build capacity at Tamale-IDTC within the project scheme,” he disclosed.
Minister of State at the Office of the Vice President, Mr Abubakar Saddique Boniface whose constituency, La Nkwantanang-Madina, is expected to greatly benefit from the donation in receiving the items, thanked the Korean government for coming to the aid of Muslim communities.
“This pandemic has brought a huge burden on persons living in the Zongos who are mostly vulnerable. In my case for instance, about 70 per cent of my constituency are Muslim communities and they have really suffered the brunt of this pandemic.”
Mr Boniface assured that the items would be evenly distributed and hoped the gesture goes a long way to strengthen the bond between Ghana and Korea.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH