Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana in March 2020, it was considered that this unanticipated development could have dire consequences on the artisanal fisheries sector which is central to the economy and the livelihoods of 300,000 men and women in over 300 coastal communities given the communal nature of landing fish and the related post-harvest activities. It will be challenging to keep fisher folks safe and healthy to sustain seafood supply and distribution, taking into consideration the mode of spread of the virus. Moreover, the absence of effective and pragmatic approaches to deliver social and or economic safety net packages to vulnerable fishing households to mitigate the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic complicates the challenges. If these risks and challenges are not managed, the COVID-19 virus could quickly spread through fishing communities with devastating impacts including loss of lives and erode all gains of fisheries stakeholders towards sustainable management of the resource supported by SFMP. The re-imposition of any future partial area lockdowns or a full lockdown of the country and/or fishing communities could also endanger fisheries value chains, which provide livelihoods for close to ten percent of the population and a vital source of affordable, high-quality protein for Ghanaians. On May 28, 2020, the SFMP Cooperative Agreement with URI was modified to provide a 7-month cost extension through April 2021. A supplemental Program description was provided with the following result areas elaborated to achieve the goal of the SFMP COVID-19 response initiative: “To prevent the spread and mitigate the economic effects of COVID-19 among vulnerable households in fishing communities in Ghana.”
COVID 1: Fisherfolk at 300 landing sites, processing and/or fish markets sites better adhere to official COVID-19 disease prevention protocols.
COVID 2: Two thousand extremely vulnerable fisheries-dependent households avoid extreme poverty.
COVID 3: GoG has evidence on approaches for effective livelihood assistance to fishing communities affected by COVID-19.
COVID 4: Cross Cutting Areas: Private Sector Engagement and Partnerships; Gender and Youth; Building for Sustainability.