Business News of Thursday, 28 June 2012
Over 367,000 low income families, especially women of reproductive age and children under five years in the Northern Region are to benefit from a $60 million USAID-supported initiative to improve food security and nutrition.
Dubbed "Resiliency in Northern Ghana (RING)", the five-year project which would span 2012-2016, would help improve their health while positioning them to better cope with natural disasters such as droughts, floods and unstable food prices.
The initiative would be implemented in 12 districts selected by USAID through an assessment process.
A statement issued by the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Accra on Wednesday, said out of the initiative, about $28 million would be made available directly to government for disbursement to the 12 targeted district assemblies.
It said Northern Region Coordinating Council would be used to implement activities to improve nutrition and strengthen resiliency of poor families, while USAID would provide technical and capacity building support for the activities.
Annual funding estimates of $200,000 to $500,000 would be made available to the eligible district assemblies for the implementation of the project.
At a ceremony to sign the Basic Implementation Letter which opened the way for the transfer of the first tranche of $11 million, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said USAID had shifted from the use of its own systems to using host country system for the implementation of their projects.
Dr. Duffuor and Ms Cheryl Anderson, USAID/Ghana Mission Director signed the implementation letter.
The Sector Minister said goals of the project to help lift the poor through improved livelihoods and nutrition was in line with the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Strategy which aims to accelerate economic growth through key areas.
He said the new Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), which would provide the framework for economic cooperation between the two countries, was currently receiving inputs from government and other stakeholders.
Dr. Duffuor gave the assurance that despite the pressures of an election year, government would ensure fiscal discipline in order not to erode the economic gains.
Mr. Donald Teitelbaum, US Ambassador to Ghana, said the project was a realization of a promise made by President Barrack Obama to help address food insecurity in Africa to improve lives of the deprived at the G8 Summit.
He pledged continuous US partnership with Ghana saying that the implementation of the project would boost the relationship between Ghana and US in general and the Northern Region in particular.**