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31.07.2002 General News

Kwabenya Landfill: Britain Explains Position

By Accra Mail
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The British High Commission yesterday said the recent press reports concerning the alleged link between the decision of the Department for International Development (DFID) to cease funding for the Kwabenya landfill site and Ghana's decision to join the HIPC initiative had missed the point.

In a press release, the Second Secretary, Mr. Greg Quinn explained, "I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that there is no link whatsoever between the cessation of funding and HIPC. In addition there has been no reduction in DFID funding since Ghana joined the HIPC Initiative."

The Second Secretary's release also tried to allay public concerns that because of Ghana signing up to HIPC, British aid was also being curtailed.

"On the contrary," the release said, "DFID support to Ghana has increased to £65m in financial year 2002/3, and the UK has recently cancelled all bilateral debts owed to it by the Government of Ghana."

He gave reasons for the cessation of funding for the Kwabenya Landfill site. He said there was a simple reason for that. "The reasons for the cessation of funding for Kwabenya are simple, and have been discussed with the Government of Ghana and the Accra Metropolitan Authority. They relate to specific aspects of this particular project."

Mr. Quinn gave the current UK position as "focussing its development assistance on the Government's priorities as set out in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) by providing support through the budget, rather than funding discrete projects. In this context DFID is working with other development partners to provide support for the GPRS through a Multi Donor Budget Support mechanism. The UK supports this approach and has so far provided £20m in Direct Budgetary Support to the Government of Ghana in 2002. The use of these funds including whether to fund the construction of a landfill remains a decision for the appropriate authorities within Ghana."

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