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Business News of Thursday, 17 January 2013

Source: GNA

Four major World Bank assisted projects in Ghana revised

Four World Bank assisted projects that started in Ghana between 2004 and 2011 have been revised in terms of their dates of completion for various reasons.

The projects are the Ghana Urban Water Project, Nutrition and Malaria Control for Child Survival Project, Ghana Social Opportunities Project and Ghana Statistics Development Programme.

A statement released to the GNA on Wednesday says the World Bank launched a new access to information policy in 2010 that represented a fundamental shift in the Bank's approach to disclosure of information about its projects.

“The new policy shifted to default disclosure all information about world banks projects manifesting high level of enhanced transparency and accountability that allows for greater monitoring of the Bank-supported projects”, the statement indicates.

It says that would enable better development results as well as provide an opportunity to better track the use of public funds.

In reference to the Ghana Urban Water Project, the statement says its approval date was July 27, 2004 to be effectively implemented on March 21, 2005. Its original closing of December 31, 2010 has now been revised to December 31, 2015.

The World Bank noted that some of the ongoing works under the Subsequent Year Investment Program had experienced delays for reasons mostly outside the control of the Project Management Unit. It says the issues had been addressed but progress needed to be closely monitored to avoid further delays.

An additional financing of US$50 million had been provided that will allow to tender the works planned at the Brong Ahafo and Upper East regions and the additional works at Winneba in the Central Region.

The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations in Water and Sanitation is tracking progress of the investments and their impact in some of the project areas.

The development objectives of the project is to significantly increase access to the piped water system in Ghana's urban centres, with an emphasis on improving access, affordability and service reliability to the urban poor.

The project also aims at restoring long-term financial stability, viability and sustainability of the Ghana Water Company Limited.

The statement says a total of US$25 million was injected into the Nutrition and Malaria Control for Child Survival Project approved on July 03, 2007 and scheduled to be implemented on September 07, 2007. It was originally designed to close on March 31, 2012 but had been reviewed to close on March 31, 2013.

The statement notes that the delays encountered during the first two years of the project had now been fully overcome and project scale up had reached its intended targets resulting in improved performance of project development indicators.

The project now reaches a total of 77 districts in the six target regions, trained more than 2,000 health staff and close to 10,000 volunteer growth promoters.

The Ghana Social Opportunities Project is benefiting a total US$88.6 million of which an amount of US$30.6 million had been disbursed. It is expected to improve social protection spending, increase access to conditional cash transfers nationwide and increase access to employment.

It is also to increase cash-earning opportunities for the rural poor during the agricultural off-season and improve economic and social infrastructure in target districts. The project was approved on May 20, 2010 to be effected on October 19, 2010 and meant to close on June 30, 2016

The Bank says an amount of US$6.2m has been committed into the Ghana Statistics Development Programme with US$3.5m being disbursed.

Its approval date was February 07, 2011 and which was originally intended to close December 30, 2012 has now been revised to close on June 30, 2013.

The objective of the project is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Ghana Statistical System to enable it to provide reliable, timely and accurate data for evidence-based policy making in support of the Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

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