He said: "It is truly unfortunate that an attempt has been made to politicise the issue of providing food for our brothers and sisters in need during the lockdown" adding that "It is also unfortunate that the impression has been created that the total amount of GH¢54 million was used for hot meals over the three-week lockdown period."
He told Parliament during the debate on the Mid-year Budget Review on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, that "We estimated we would need an amount of approximately GH¢40 million to provide hot meals to the vulnerable at GH¢5 per pack during the lockdown period. However, we spent GH¢12 million on hot meals including the cost of distribution."
He said the "government budgeted GH¢40.3 million for basic uncooked food items. We spent GH¢42.2 million.
"It is this GH¢12 million spent on hot meals and the 42 million spent on uncooked food items that gave a total of GHS54 million as stated in the mid-year review."
He explained that "The GH¢12.1 million for hot meals served 150,000 people during the lockdown [period], including the cost of transportation and other operational costs."
The Minister presenting the Mid-year budget on July 23, 2020, stated that GH¢54.3 million was used on food packs and hot cooked meals adding that the government transferred an amount of GH¢50.2 million to 400,000 beneficiaries under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme.
"In collaboration with Faith-Based Organizations (FBO's), the government also distributed dry food packages to about 470,000 families. Let me extend my deepest gratitude to the Faith-based organisations for this unique partnership with Government and may the Lord count this as righteousness for the FBOs and Government.
"Mr. Speaker, the support to households, in terms of supply of dry food packs and hot cooked meals cost Government GH¢54.3 million to enable them mitigate the impact of the pandemic. This was in addition to an amount of GH¢50.2 million transferred to the 400,000 most-vulnerable individuals under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme," he said.