The world has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 disease which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan has now spread across the globe.
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The COVID-19 has now affected over 2.1 million people in the world. It has also killed about 146,000 people worldwide.
The pandemic has brought hardship on many economies, businesses, and individuals.
Governments the world over have also adapted innovative and humanitarian assistance to its people and Ghana is not an exception.
YEN.com.gh in this article will highlight how the government of Ghana and other governments across the world have been supporting its citizens to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.
President Nana Akufo-Addo as part of measures to support Ghanaians has announced free water supply for three months (April, May, and June). The government is absorbing full electricity bill for the poorest people in the country for the period the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, government will absorb 50% of electricity bills for residential and commercial consumers within the period.
Again, over 400,000 Ghanaians are benefitting from the government's distribution of free meals to Ghanaians in locked-down areas amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.
Lastly, government is proving food and some money to some stranded head porters, also known as kayayei. The government has committed to feeding and housing the needy kayayei in Kumasi and the Greater Accra Region during the partial lockdown.
The Finance Minister got approval for ¢1.2b to fund the government's Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.
2. United States of America
To mitigate the damaging impact of the pandemic, President Donald Trump and the US Congress enacted a $2 trillion stimulus bill.
This includes direct payments to many Americans, expansion in unemployment benefits and $350 billion in small business loans.
Individual Americans will get up to $1,200 and couples would receive up to $2,400, plus $500 per child. Jobless workers may also get an extra $600 a week in addition to their state benefits for up to four months. The stimulus checks will be sent out to mails with President Trump's name printed on it. According to reports, about 70 million Americans will be captured in the stimulus package.
Conditional Cash Transfer: National Social Register, BVN and Mobile network In Nigeria, the federal government is using the Conditional Cash Transfer programme to reach out to the poorest citizens.
Using the National Social Register, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management is distributing N20,000 to the poor citizens across the states of the federation.
In order to capture the urban poor, the ministry has also announced that it will use Bank Verification Number (BVN) and mobile network (phone recharge history) to distribute relief funds. Under this plan, Nigerians with not more than N5,000 in their accounts will benefit from the initiative. The programme is still at its early stage as many Nigerians have not benefited from it. The government has also said that only 25% of the population will benefit from the palliatives. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also made available N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loans are disbursed through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
The government of Canada has created a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan which will provide up to C$107bn ($75bn, £64bn) to support Canadian workers and businesses. Under the stimulus plan, Canadians without paid sick leave who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children are being paid stipends.
Also, Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact are being paid stipends of C$2,000 a month for the next four months
The Canadian government also has stimulus plans for small businesses facing challenges as a result of the pandemic.
5. South Korea
The Asian country has an employee-retention programme which covers 70 percent of wages or more. This is to help companies stay afloat without sacking their workers in the face of the economic hardship imposed by the pandemic.
YEN.com.gh earlier reported that health authorities in China's Wuhan city have revised the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic upwards by over 50%.
Wuhan’s Epidemic Prevention and Control Center said on Friday, April 17, that 3,869 people had died from the disease in the city as of Thursday, April 16.
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