The government spent about GH¢8,134 million (about 8.1% of Expenditures and 15.1% of Domestic Revenues) to preserve livelihoods during the COVID period in 2020, according to Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta.
The Minister said the decisive and unparalleled measures Government took to protect Ghanaians have come at a cost, with sudden relapse in the debt situation from 62.4% (2019) – 76.1% (2020).
Addressing the media in Accra, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta said on the fiscal front, the impact of the pandemic led to a downward revision of revenues by Ghs13.4 billion (3.5% of GDP) and expenditures by an additional Ghs11.8 billion (3.1%of GDP) with a combined fiscal impact of Ghs25.2 billion (6.5%of GDP).
a. The Government provided 1,827,581 and 917,142 cooked food packs to vulnerable and underprivileged persons within Accra and Kumasi. In addition, in partnership with Faith-Based Organisations, Government also distributed dry food packages to about 470,000 families during the period of the partial lockdown in Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi.
b. The government fully covered the consumption of electricity for the over 1 million lifeline customers and subsidized 50 percent of the consumption of all other customers for the period.
c. Over 10 million fellow Ghanaians benefited from free water supplied by Ghana Water Company Limited between April to December 2020. As a result, the average monthly water supply of 9.24 million cubic meters increased by 43.21% to reach 13.23 million cubic meters. Furthermore, 474 small towns and 1,143 rural communities benefited from the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).
d. Under the ‘Operation Return Home’ Programme, the Government-assisted 10,025 Ghanaians whose circumstances had been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic to return home.
e. The government launched and operationalized the GH¢750 million Coronavirus Alleviation Programme – Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS) which mitigated the impact of the pandemic on several Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs). At the end of April 2021, about GH¢412.88 million had been disbursed to support 277,511 businesses; 69% being female-owned. The scheme has saved over 650,000 MSME jobs.
f. The BoG also supported with a reduction in the monetary policy rate by 150 basis points, reduction of capital adequacy ratio by 150 basis points, and reduction of primary reserve requirements by 200 basis points, among others