The government, under the Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP) has sourced for $42 million from the African Development Bank (ADB) for socio-economic investments in some urban areas in the country.
The fund would be used to improve the lot of poor urban settlers, strengthen local governance and improve access to basic services in those areas.
Mrs. Elizabeth Abena Nkrumah, Zonal Officer of UPRP in the Western and Central regions made this known at a forum to launch the project in Sekondi last Friday.
She indicated that under the project, the urban unemployed, small business operators, households living below the extreme poverty line and those in the informal sector in some urban areas would be given grants to invest and improve on their standard of living.
She explained that the beneficiaries of the project would be trained on how to prepare a proper business plan through seminars and workshops at the community levels.
Mrs. Nkrumah said 12 urban centres in the country were currently being used for the pilot project.
The centres were Sekondi-Takoradi, Accra, Kumasi, Koforidua, Tema and Ho.
The rest were Akim-Oda, Wenchi, Swedru, Apam, Winneba and Kasoa.
She was optimistic that the project would facilitate access to income-generating activities through capacity building and also strengthen the urban small scale entrepreneurs.
Hon. Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Chief Executive of the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA), said the project was a government initiative to reduce poverty to the barest minimum.
He added that it would also help achieve the objective of the Millennium Development Goals which aimed to reduce poverty in Africa by half, by the year 2015.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Sekondi