National COVID-19 Fund disbursed GH¢52M out of GH¢57M received – Finance Minister

The National COVID-19 Fund has so received GH¢57.15 million in cash donations

The National COVID-19 Fund has so received GH¢57.15 million in cash donations.

More than GH¢52 million of the amount has already been disbursed in cash and procurements to various beneficiaries.

This is according to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

The Minister made this known while presenting the 2021 mid-year budget review to Parliament on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

“The COVID-19 National Trust Fund was set up under Act 1013 to receive and manage contributions and donations from well-meaning individuals, groups, and corporate bodies. As of 30th June 2021, the COVID-19 National Trust Fund had received a total amount of GH¢57.15 million in cash donations. These donations were made between the period April 2020 and March 2021,” he said.

He added that “as of 30th June 2021, the Fund had disbursed an amount of GH¢52,501,540.44, for various programmes as well as procurement of items.”

The Trust Fund was established to support the fight against the pandemic and also assist the poor and vulnerable during the pandemic, especially as many businesses were severely impaired by the outbreak of the disease.

Donations to the fund began pouring in immediately it was established by President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2020 with former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo appointed as its Chairperson.

As of April 2020, an amount of GHS34 million had accrued to the fund, indicating that as COVID-19 restrictions eased and economic and social activities gradually normalized, the volume of donations to the fund significantly dropped.

Per the minister’s announcement, only GH¢23 million accrued to the fund in a whole year; between April 2020 and April 2021.

‘Accounts being audited’

Following claims by some members of the public that the fund’s trustees were diverting some donations coming in, the chairperson, Sophia Akuffo said the comments were unfair.

She indicated that the accounts of the fund were being audited to ensure transparency and accountability.

“We at the trust fund appreciate and are ready to render accounts for our stewardship at any point in time when it becomes necessary to do so. Therefore, I consider it rather unfair and very embarrassing when some sections of the public and in the media, whether due to political expediency or ignorance about the nature of our mandate or simply out of sheer mischief, attempt to throw mud and malign the trustees and staff of the fund.”

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