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Feeding the Vulnerable in a Crisis

Identify the Vulnerable to be fed in a Crisis

Photo of Richard Okoe
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The COVID19 has rocked the entire world and Ghana is no exception. With a very high unemployment rate and no social protection for the informal sector, many more people are now very vulnerable in view of the lockdown in Greater Accra and Kumasi. 

With economic activities grounded to a haltmany families cannot feed themselves. These are people who have no monthly salary and earn wages by performing menial jobs such as hawking, being head porters, house to house cleaning services, and others. These people have no savings, no social protection, and must work every day to earn what they must eat daily. The lockdown has rendered such as people jobless and they and their dependants are starving.

The government of Ghana has rolled out a program to feed the vulnerable in selected communities. Laudable as this is there are serious challenges that must be addressed  to ensure equitable food distribution in a safe environment.We see people and crowds scrambling for food. Eventually many are injured, some got no food at all, whilst others received two or more food packs instead of one.

Clearly the authorities do not have accurate demographic data. This is key in planning and implementing any program especially in a pandemic.

What is the need are you focusing on?

;The homeless and jobless are more vulnerable especially in this pandemic period. They need daily to survive. However most of them are not getting food to eat. The food distribution by government agencies is not benefitting all the targeted beneficiaries. There is food shortage for the vulnerable. This is happening because the distributing agencies have no accurate data on the targeted beneficiaries. Data on the number of jobless and homeless people within each community must be obtained. Their age,sex, skills, place of birth, and other data should be obtained. These people should be given unique identirty numbers to be biologically verified. This gives accurate data and therefore accurate provision of food would be made for the people. People will not have the opportunity to take more food than what is meant for them as they can easily be identified when they are served.It is a matter of urgency that data collection on the homeless and jobless is immediately activated.

What is the best example of business adaption you’ve seen in response to COVID-19?

I am impressed with the food distribution program of the United States of America. I have not witnessed a mad rush for food as observed in Ghana. We read about the accurate figures of jobless people applying for unemployment benefit. We see people distributing food numbering more than the people readily receiving food. The USA food distribution system is commendable and Ghana can learn from it. We need to get accurate and adequate data on each Ghanaian especially the homeless and jobless to immediately assist them in time of need especially in this pandemic.

What is your profession?

A Social Entrepreneur. President of the National Beekeepers Association. and CEO of the NGO Community Development Challenge in Ghana.

Where are you located (country)?


Where are you located (region)?

  • Western Africa

Which industry do you work in?

  • Activist/Community Leader/Organizer

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Hi Richard Okoe welcome to the challenge. Thank you for sharing your your idea especially around food distribution. We had a similar case in Nairobi of community members scrambling to get food and other products. Has there been a new way of distribution that has been introduced? How are envisioning going to collect the data?