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31.10.2008 Education

Stakeholders call for transparency, expansion of feeding programme

By GNA

Stakeholders of the School

Feeding Programme (SFP) have called on the programme's Secretariat to demonstrate transparency in its operations and work towards addressing the current imbalance in the number of pupils benefiting from it.

The call was contained in a six-point Communiqué issued at the end of a two-day meeting held in Tamale on Thursday dubbed: “October Fair”.

Ghanaian and Dutch Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) attended the meeting to discuss ways of supporting the efforts of the SFP in a systematic and coordinated manner.

The programme, which is supported through a partnership between the governments of Ghana and the Netherlands, is aimed at reducing hunger and malnutrition, increasing school enrolment, attendance and retention and boosting local food production.

The Communiqué jointly signed by Mr Adam Jehanfo and Mr Samuel Zan Akologo, Chairman and member respectively, of a working group of CSOs, emphasised the need for effective decentralisation in the implementation of the programme especially in decision-making in the determination of menu, selection of beneficiaries and procurement among others.

It called on the GSFP Secretariat to work towards increasing the involvement of CSOs and communities in monitoring and providing supplementary services to enhance its impact.

The meeting expressed concern about financial sustainability of the programme and welcomed its mainstreaming into the national budget with a legislative backing.

The Communiqué acknowledged the conscious efforts by the National Coordinator of the SFP, Mr Michael Nsowah, to re-orient the implementation and management of the programme.

“It is our expectation that the proposed reforms will receive broad support at all levels and responsibilities taken appropriately,” it said.

The Communiqué called on the GSFP management to clarify the issue of linking the programme to local production and ensure that a directive to this effect was issued and complied with by all actors.

“It is our hope that such a directive will make a priority option for buying most foodstuffs from local farmers at the community level,” it said.

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