In its response plan to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government of Togo has put rural areas on its agenda. The country that has benefited from the support of the African Development Bank has covered significant costs for the benefit of vulnerable populations, indicates a report of the Bank on the status of execution and results of the program published on April 28.
With an envelope of US $ 27.37 million, the Budget Support Program for the Response to Covid-19 ( PARCOVID-19 ) in favor of Togo was approved on July 24, 2020 by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank.
Halfway through its implementation, the program made it possible to set up substantial cash transfers for the benefit of the most vulnerable social strata. On September 1, 2020, some 572,852 beneficiaries were registered out of a total of 1,385,787 people registered, including 373,858 women and 198,994 men.
According to the African Development Bank report, “The implementation of PARCOVID continues,” says. The main results achieved augur well for the achievement of the program objectives, namely the strengthening of the health and socioeconomic resilience of the country by the implementation of health response measures and measures to mitigate the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic.”
The program supported free access to water for these populations during the health emergency as well as the establishment of a similar mechanism to support spending in rural areas. The actions taken by the Togolese government to this end concern drinking water bills and free public standpipes.
The cost of the connection has thus fallen from about 73,000 to 24,600 CFA (that is to say 136.36 to 45.45 dollars). In semi-rural areas, the program has contributed to providing free water to mini-drinking water supply networks (mini-DWS) and to autonomous water stations. Free water from public boreholes has been ensured in rural areas.
In addition, vulnerable populations generally benefited from free electricity for a period of three months, from April 1 to June 30, 2020 (low voltage customers with two-wire metering equipment, regulated on five or ten amps, for domestic use), the social portion of the electricity bill corresponding to consumption of up to 40 kWh. In total, 390,978 households with a post-payment or prepayment metering system have benefited from this measure at least once.
Finally, PARCOVID supported measures to mitigate the impact of the health crisis on the private sector and employment. In total, nearly 13,770 taxpayers benefited from tax measures put in place at the end of October 2020 by the government for an initial target of 5,000 people.
Among the measures adopted are the exemption from customs duties and taxes, excluding community levies and taxes for the provision of services on medical equipment and products used exclusively in the fight against Covid-19, or the postponement on request for payment of down payments of taxes and duties for companies in sectors strongly affected by the pandemic (transport, hotels and restaurants, bars and places of leisure and entertainment).