GIZ, SECO support USIBRAS to fight COVID-19


USIBRAS, Ghana’s biggest cashew processing company at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region has received personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential health supplies from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).

The donation forms part of measures put in place by the Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew), which is funded by the German and Swiss governments, amongst others, and implemented by GIZ, to support actors in the cashew value chain to fight the current pandemic.

The donated items include automatic sanitizer dispenser, automatic soap dispenser, water heater, thermometers, surgical masks, hand sanitizer, liquid soap, and paper towel among others.

These items are to enable USIBRAS, a factory with about 750 workers, implement safety protocols and protect the welfare of its employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Other cashew processors in Ghana would also be supported in the coming weeks.

Speaking at the event, Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Philipp Stalder acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis has changed lives dramatically and severely affected global trade.

“I am more than pleased that Switzerland who is a reliable partner for Ghana for many decades and is active through various channels in the cashew sector, is able to contribute with this modest contribution. Our support through ComCashew is hopefully contributing to see to it that jobs in the cashew industry can be preserved, ”he added

Despite the challenges, Ambassador Stalder was full of hope and confidence that the situation was not here to stay and will eventually pass over as the great depression of the last century did. The Ambassador also reiterated his country’s continuous support for the cashew sector, adding “our support will continue as planned in areas like better cashew sector regulation, improvement of local processing and our engagement in the ATVET activities in the cashew value chain alongside other cash crop projects.”

Also speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy, Madam Dorothee Dinkelaker said, “we acknowledge the challenges and downsides of the pandemic but we also would like you to see it as an opportunity to see things differently. “It is our joy to contribute to your work through the donation of these items as you provide jobs in the local economy. This, we believe, will improve livelihoods and sustain livelihoods for many people.”

She concluded by encouraging all partners to continue working together towards further enhancing the sustainability and competitiveness of the sector.

In his acceptance speech, the CEO of USIBRAS, Mr Patricio Assis mentioned that the items came in at a time when they most needed it. “For us, this is a big contribution because it came at a time when we needed it most , and when I see acts like this, of solidarity, it shows that the best way to fight the virus is with togetherness” He went on to thank the parties involved and assured them that the items will be used for their intended purpose.

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