Phase two of the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP 2) which is aimed at alleviating rural poverty and improving standard of living of Ghanaians is set to take off in 21 municipal and 79 district assemblies across the country.
The $100 million project being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) in conjunction with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has been expanded from 80 district assemblies in the first phase to 100 of them in the second.
Deputy Minister of the MLGDRD, Mr Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah announced this at a workshop for administrative staff of municipal and district assemblies drawn from the Upper West and Savannah regions at Wa in the Upper West Region on Tuesday.
He mentioned that the second phase sought to expand and enhance social wellbeing to help improve upon incomes and productivity of the poor in rural and urban areas of Ghana.
He mentioned that the project was estimated to directly benefit over 90,000 individuals and 350,000 households with direct cash transfers under Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme and labour intensive public works programmes component of the GPSNP.
He trumpeted that past achievements earned the country the opportunity to receive additional funding from the World Bank and to also expand the beneficiary areas.
“The GPSNP included skills training for 21,108 beneficiaries from 331 communities in 43 districts across the country who also received grants of up to $215 million equivalent to establish and run their own micro enterprises”, he said.
The minister mentioned again that the project linked close to 16,000 beneficiaries to the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) Programme and saw the construction of 64 feeder roads of a total of 251.6kilometres under the Labour Intensive Public works component.
He believed that the New Patriotic Party Government was committed to improving the standard of living of Ghanaians, particularly the poor and had subsequently focused most of its interventions on job creation to ensure that no one was left behind.
He mentioned that annual work plan for the implementation of the phase of the GNSP was completed and encouraged the various municipal and district officers to support the national and zonal offices to ensure successful implementation of the projects to help alleviate poverty.
The Wa Zonal Coordinator of the GPSNP, Mrs Cedonia Dere, added that the project was taking care of all 11 districts in the Upper West Region and three in the Savannah Region and had put over GH₵15million in the pockets of over 7,000 beneficiaries.
“We did this through the implementation of 59 sub projects made up of 13 feeder roads, 22 dams and 25 climate change interventions with cashew plantation; on the average beneficiaries receive more than GH₵2000 as wages and are able to invest same in other economic activities,” she said.
She expressed confidence that the second phase of the project would help reduce poverty that was endemic in the two beneficiary regions to the barest minimum.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA