Douglas Alexander MP, UK Secretary of State for International Development announced increased aid for Ghana during a one-day visit to the country on Friday 22 February 2008.
During his visit he called on President John Agyekum Kufuor, and announced a 20% increase in UK aid to Ghana over the next 3 years totalling $500 million.
The Secretary of State said: "This additional commitment signifies the strong relationship between Ghana and the UK, making us the biggest donor to Ghana after the World Bank.
I am pleased to be able to make this announcement as it shows the UK's support for Ghana's positive record on good governance, economic stability and its role as peacekeeper on the African continent.
I have seen first hand this morning, when I visited Nima, the health problems caused by poor sanitation and the importance of getting more children into school.
This extra money will enable the Ghanaian Government to target these issues and reduce poverty levels 'even further".
During his visit the Secretary of State also spoke with the UK development staff in DFID Ghana about their work, visited the Nima cluster of schools and a rights-based women group known as Women's Club working in Nima.
The UK Government currently provides around $140 million annually to Ghana to implements its Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy; this includes a ten year commitment of $220 million to the education sector.
DFlD is also working to strengthen citizens' calls for better services, good governance and the protection of basic rights. It does this through the Civil Society Rights and Voice Initiative which is a DFlD grant fund of $9m for civil society groups and Community Based Organisations.
To date 22 NGOs and over 60 CBOs, including the Nima Mothers' Club, have received grants.
UK commitment to the education sector is ensuring that more children are going to school. Today in Ghana 8 out of 10 children are attending basic schools with roughly equal numbers of girls as boys enrolling.
Support to civil society groups and grass roots organisations such as Mothers' Club in Nima is ensuring that the voices of the weakest are being heard.
This is having a positive effect on sanitation and maternal and child mortality in the area.