The Ministry of Finance has presented 11 20-footer containers of cocoa products as emergency relief items to victims of last February’s earthquake disaster in Türkiye.
The items comprise 130 tonnes of cocoa powder and 20 tonnes of cocoa spread.
“In line with this spirit, the government and people of Ghana, through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), acting on the instruction of President Akufo-Addo and Cabinet procured 11 20-footer containers of ready-to-eat cocoa products as emergency relief items for the people of Türkiye,” the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said.
In a brief ceremony in Accra last Friday to present the cocoa products to the Türkiye Ambassador, Hüseyin Güngör, the minister expressed his condolences to the families who lost their loved ones, and also thanked the government of Türkiye for the support it provided in the repatriation of the remains of Ghanaian footballer, Christian Atsu Tsasam, who also died as a result of the earthquake.
Mr Ofori-Atta said Ghana and Türkiye had since 1958 had a strong relationship and said it was incumbent on the country as friends to lend a hand, however small it may be.
He expressed the hope that the supply of the cocoa products would alleviate some of the challenges faced by the over 10 million people who continue to be at a disadvantage after the disaster.
He said although the lives lost could not be replaced, the gesture would contribute to the rebuilding and revitalisation of Türkiye.
“We pray that this gesture would continue to build the bond and partnership between Ghana and Türkiye in the sense of our shared common humanity.
“In the Bible, Proverbs 3:27 says withhold not good from them to whom it is due and we believe it is due you when it is in the power of thy hand to do it,” he added.
The Finance Minister stressed the benefits of cocoa to a person’s health, stating that cocoa was not just a commodity for the heart but Ghana’s national heritage.
“Cocoa has health benefits, and by sharing the products with you we share a piece of our wealth, history and the affection we have towards Türkiye,” he said.
Mr Güngör thanked the country for its quick response and support after the earthquake and for relieving the pain of those impacted by the disaster.
He expressed his country’s commitment to continue working closely with Ghana on all fronts.
“Ghana is a partner and true friend, even many months after the earthquake, the attention and care for the people of Türkiye is still there.
This ceremony shows that Ghana still supports and takes care of the people of Türkiye.
“It is in critical times that you see your true friends and partner, so Ghana is a real one,” he added.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, in a speech read on her behalf, said the gesture did not only signify the strong bilateral relations between the two countries, but was also a testament to their shared commitment to supporting each other in times of need.
“This year, 2023, marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries, and I am delighted to note that the bilateral relations that started in 1958 have been fruitful and mutually beneficial over the years,” she said.