The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Caritas Internationalis COVID-19 Response Funds, awarded an amount of Ninety-Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Five Euro and Fifty-Six Cents (Euro 99,785.56) to Caritas Ghana for the Comprehensive Emergency Response Interventions on COVID-19 in Ghana.
The project contract stipulates that the implementation period is from 6th July to 5th October 2020 with geographical focus on the Catholic Archdioceses of Accra, Cape Coast, Tamale and Kumasi.
This was announced at a Zoom Webinar Conference on July 30, 2020 by Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo, the Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana, the relief and development Organization of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC).
Participating in the virtual ceremony for the official announcement of the grant were Dr. Aloysius John, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, Msgr. Pierre Cibamo, Vatican Ecclesiastical Liaison to Caritas Internationalis, Most Rev. Philip Naameh, President of the GCBC and Archbishop of Tamale; Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Anokye, Archbishop of Kumasi and President of Caritas Africa and Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Episcopal President of Caritas Ghana and Very Rev. Fr. Lazarus Anondee, Secretary General of the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS).
Also participating were the Development Officers from the target project focus dioceses, Staff of Caritas Ghana, DEPSOCOM, The Catholic Standard Newspaper and Newswatchgh.com, a faith based news portal.
In a solidarity message, Dr. Aloysius John on behalf of the managers of the Grant, congratulated Caritas Ghana and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference for all their progressive interventions during the outbreak of this pandemic
He however noted that, it was necessary that all join hands in solidarity to effectively fight COVID-19 by protecting and providing for the vulnerable in our society.
He admonished the team to support the effort to ensure that everything meant for the vulnerable is used appropriately.
In a statement paper, Mr. Zan Akologo, said the beneficiaries will be made up of a total number of direct beneficiary individuals approximately (2,570), which will include people from the four Archdioceses.
Citing an example, he said “800 young girls known as ‘Kayayie who were affected and displaced through the Government demolition of illegal structures, including 200 People Living with Disabilities to be provided with food items.
Adding, he said 800 displaced women and their children will be provided with blankets and mats while 100 Caritas Ghana Staff, Arch/Diocesan Caritas Officers and National Catholic Secretariat Staff will have virtual training on Safeguarding Procedures and Mechanisms.
According to him, 800 workers of Health facilities in the remote areas of the four Archdioceses will be provided with face mask, and other Personal Protective Equipment. (sanitizers, veronica buckets and liquid soap).
“The project will reach a total minimum number of over 10,000 indirect beneficiaries who will access support from the health facilities and the community prevention and mitigation of COVID-19,” he stated.
Mr. Zan Akologo explained that there will be media sensitization, dissemination of information on behavioral change measures while Religious and traditional leaders, Parish Priests, Opinion Leaders, Faith-Based Organizations in the four Archdioceses, National Commission for Civic Education, Radio Presenters and Stations will be contacted for dissemination of information.
Touching on the overall objective of the project, the Caritas Ghana Executive Secretary mentioned among others that it is to guarantee access to basic livelihood security services (food, shelter, medicine) for the poor and vulnerable.
He noted that it is also to give technical/logistics support to Catholic Health facilities and coordinated dissemination of authentic COVID-19 information using W.H.O and Ghana Health Service approved guidelines to influence Social and Behavioural Change in Ghana.
He noted that it was also to embark on an awareness campaign to raise community awareness to avoid the infection of COVID-19.
Mr. Zan Akologo pointed out that the grant was awarded after Caritas Ghana put in a proposal to the Fund managed directly by the Emergency Unit of Caritas Internationalis when it opened up a call for proposals in March 2020.
“Caritas Ghana submitted the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference COVID-19 Response Plan in March and was later invited to submit a proposal based on a prescribed template, he said, adding that “Caritas Ghana responded to this invitation by submitting a proposal in April, 2020,” he said during the zoom virtual ceremony, noting that the “project contract implementation period from July 6 to October 5, 2020 will focus on the Archdioceses of Accra, Cape Coast, Tamale and Archdiocese of Kumasi.”
Under the instrumentality of Pope Francis, a Vatican Commission on COVID-19 was established. Under this umbrella, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) and Caritas Internationalis (CI) set up the COVID-19 Response Fund (CRF) to mobilize resources from Caritas Member Organizations to provide quick and short-term support to Caritas Organizations needing urgent assistance.