National COVID-19 Trust Fund bags GH¢62m …from contributions, donations

More than GH¢ 62million in the form of voluntary contributions and donations has so far been accrued to the National COVID-19 Trust Fund since its establishment in March, 2020, Chairperson of the Fund, Justice Sophia Akuffo, has declared.

Out of the figure, she said about GH¢53.2 million had so far been disbursed in support of the COVID-19 Care Management Centres, testing centres, hospitals and community-based Health  Planning and Services (CHPS), as well as public institutions and vulnerable persons across the country.

Justice Akuffo, who was also a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, disclosed this when her outfit  took its turn at the bi-weekly media briefing in Accra yesterday.

The briefing was to update the country on its activities since the fund was established in March 2020.

The COVID-19 Trust Fund was established by an Act of Parliament, (Act 1013) of 2020, to provide an avenue for well-meaning individuals, groups and corporate organisations to contribute their resources to complement government’s efforts of combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fund was managed by a seven-member Board of Trustees which was inaugurated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in April 2020.

Justice Akuffo explained that the fund had GH¢9.09 million as the balance in its account at the Bank of Ghana.

Apart from the financial contributions, she said the Fund also received donations such as vehicles, personal protective equipment (PPEs), sanitisers, fuel coupons and bags of rice, which were distributed to public and private organisations, vulnerable persons, orphanages and the aged upon request.

She noted that out of the GH¢62.3 million mobilised so far, GH¢200,000 were donations from Ghanaians in the diaspora, stressing that, “So far the board has been very transparent and judicious in the utilisation of the funds and items received from patriotic individuals and corporate entities”.

“Members of the Board of Trustees of the Fund are men and women of integrity and have nothing to hide,” Justice Akuffo added.

In addition, she said the Fund had supported more than 7,000 poor and vulnerable persons with cash donations across the country.

For instance, she said, GH¢6.8 million was given out towards the completion of the Infectious Diseases Centre at Ga East in the Greater Accra Region, and GH¢5.5 million to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to purchase COVID-19 testing re-agents.

Also, GH¢1.9 million was given to Veterinary Services COVID-19 Testing Centre and GH¢8 million to the Education Coordinating Committee to purchase PPEs during the tertiary schools’ re-opening, she said.

In addition, the Fund supported the National Commission for Civic Education, National Commission on Culture and National Road Safety Authority with various sums of money and PPEs to organise public education campaigns on the need to mask-up and observe the COVID-19 safety protocols, Justice Akuffo mentioned.

The Chair of the Fund stated that the people of Appiatse were not left out as it donated PPEs and other items through the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) during the aftermath of the explosion to give some comfort to the affected persons.

BY CLIFF EKUFUL

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