The government has secured $100 million from the World Bank for the implementation of the second phase of the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP II) to provide support to poorest households.
The project which would be implemented by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) will cover 100 districts of which 21 are municipalities, across the country.
The main objective of the second phase (2022-2025) was to expand and enhance social safety nets that would improve the incomes and productivity of the poor in rural and urban areas in the country.
The implementation of the second phase was as a result of the successful implementation of the first phase which was implemented in 2018 and expected to phase out by December, 2022 after supporting initiatives like the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, which provides cash transfers to poor households, the Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) programme, which provides seasonal short short-term employment to the poor, among others.
The Deputy Minister of MLGDRD, Mr Augustine Collins Ntim made this known at an orientation and sensitisation workshop organised on the GPSNP II for officers working at the Regional Coordinating Councils and District Assemblies in the Greater Accra and Eastern regions.
They included District Chief Executives, regional and district planning officers, Community development officers, District Social Welfare officer, Finance officers among others.
The purpose was to sensitise them on the project to enable them to plan and implement interventions through efficient allocation of resources for optimum exploitation of Districts’ economic and natural resources.
Mr Ntim indicated that 100, 000 individuals from the poorest households in all administrative regions in the country, who will be selected using the most updated Ghana Living Standard Survey data available at the Ghana Statistical Service, will benefit from the project under the productive inclusion and LIPW “and in addition 350, 000 households will benefit from the direct cash transfer programme that would be implemented by MoGCSP.
The minister revealed that phase one of the project chalked several successes and mentioned provision of enterprise skills training for 21, 107 beneficiaries in 331 communities, provision of start-up grants cedi equivalent of USD 215 per person to 21,107 beneficiaries to establish and run their own small scale micro enterprises, among others, as some achievements chalked under the phase one of the project.
For his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Seth Acheampong in a speech read on his behalf said “as key actors in local government and decentralisation process, it was incumbent on participants to implement policies and programmes for benefits of communities in our districts.”
He said the sensitisation workshop was therefore necessary and would build capacities of participants to perform their duties for the benefit of the people in the districts.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA