More than 1,300 vulnerable people living in and around the Central Business District of Accra have received relief items from Good Neighbours Ghana; a South Korean based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), under its emergency livelihood support programme.
Mainly made-up of kayayei (head potters), each beneficiary took home a five kilogramme bag of Ghana rice, one kilogramme of gari, sugar, one litre of Frytol cooking oil and five pieces of 70gramme tin tomato paste.
In addition, they were provided with hygiene frills such as antiseptic soaps, hand sanitisers and reusable nose masks.
At a ceremony in Accra to present the items, the Country Representative of Good Neighbous, Mr Ilwon Seo, said the Good Neighbours International, was a humanitarian and development NGO working in 36 countries and had been operating in Ghana since 2016.
He said even though its project was in the area of mobile health, which was being undertaken in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service, Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), USAID and Samsung, there was the need to support the vulnerable due to the impact of COVID-19.
Mr Seo said kayayei, who were mostly homeless female head porters, constituted one of the most vulnerable groups in the capital and required attention.
He explained that with the pandemic expected to last for several months there was the urgent need to support such groups to ensure their livelihoods were not disrupted.
“This pandemic is expected to last several months at least during the year of 2020. Thus, there is an urgent need to support this group’s livelihood in the mid-long term perspective including basic hygiene awareness promotion as well as food distribution,” Mr Seo said.
He explained that the relief items which was being distributed in batches comprised of food and items and hygiene needs.
Mr Seo said his organisation intended to increase the number of beneficiaries to about 2,100 by the July, when another batch of items would be distributed.
“Our relief activity is in the form of distribution of living items with hygiene education to prevent people from attracting COVID-19 in the next three months from May to July, 2020, and we are targeting between 600 and 750 kayayei per month with total expected coverage of about 2,100 kayayei,” he said.
He said a total of $20,000 USD had been mobilised to support the programme.
By Cliff Ekuful