Mr Speaker, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. This moment has marked a defining moment in world history and its impact still reverberates globally.
Mr Speaker, here in Ghana, we recorded our first two cases on March 12, 2020. H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, immediately put together a task force which spearheaded the development of a bold, comprehensive, and decisive strategy to ensure that we are not overwhelmed by the pandemic. In line with this strategy, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of Ghana was assessed and measures were designed to address its immediate impacts.
However, the impact of the pandemic was even more severe than anticipated both globally and domestically. It has upended and exposed the weaknesses in critical structures and systems in education, health, economic life and communities. The pandemic triggered a sharp and heavy disruption in global supply chains as lockdowns and restrictions led to reductions in demand and production levels.
Mr Speaker, this has required us to undertake major fiscal measures beyond what we programmed prior to the pandemic. To finance the additional expenditure such as support to households, engagement of additional health personnel deployment of security personnel at our borders to enforce the CoVID-19 protocols, as well as the procurement of personal protective equipment, government has had to adopt major fiscal measures to accommodate the increased expenditure and the shortfalls in revenue. Though our response was bold, decisive, and compassionate, it has also been costly.
Mr. Speaker, you may recall that on 30th March 2020, I made a statement to Parliament on the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Economy of Ghana, following which the implementation of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) commenced.