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IMF bailout: Government will protect Free SHS, others, says Osei-Asare

On Friday (1 July 2022), Ghana announced that it is officially seeking support from the IMF to help address the economic crisis

Abena Osei-Asare, the Deputy finance minister has given assurance to Ghanaians that development projects and key social intervention programmes will not be affected if the government agrees to an IMF programme.

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the president had “authorised Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements” with the IMF.

The announcement followed a phone conversation between Akufo-Addo and the president of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, he said.

Talking to Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Monday (4 July), Osei-Asare said: “We want to assure people that we have been here [at the IMF] before and irrespective of that we still ensured development… and this time will be no different.”

Backup plans

“We have plans in place that we believe will help us stabilise the economy… other bilateral neighbours will also come in to help us in building back the economy,” Osei-Asare said.

She also said the government will protect social intervention programmes such as school feeding among others under the IMF programme.

“In 2017 to 2019, we still implemented the school feeding under an IMF programme and we even expanded it. In 2017 when we came it was around 1.3 million children [benefiting from school feeding], but in 2019 we had move to almost two million children under IMF programme. In September 2017 under an IMF programme we did implement Free Senior High School programme.

“So, like I am saying the government will do everything possible to protect social intervention programmes that we believe will protect livelihoods and also cause the people who are economically low to thrive,” Osei-Asare said.

Listen to Abena Osei-Asare in the attached audio below:

Fred Dzakpata

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