Japan gives $6.8 million grant to Ghana
The Japanese government has provided a total of 6.8 million dollars in grants to the government of Ghana. These are for the Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) and the Sector Budget Support (SBS) for the health sector programme for the year 2012.
US$ 4.3 million of the grant has been allocated for the MDBS whiles the remaining US$ 2.5 million has been made available for the Health Sector Budget Support.
The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Naoto Nikai and the Chief Representative of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Jiro Inamura signed and exchanged notes on behalf of their country at a presentation in Accra.
The Multi-Donor Budget Support is an aid mechanism where ten development partners including Japan provide financial resources to support Ghana's national budget through the government of Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda which focuses on achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Ghana is thought to be making slow progress in achieving the fourth and fifth goals of the UN's Millennium Development Goals which focus on improving child health and maternal health.
It is in this regard therefore that the Japanese government, recognizing the financial challenges in the health sector, decided to provide specific budgetary support to the health sector yearly, with the aim of contributing to a better implementation of plans in the health sector for improved results in health service delivery.
Delivering a paper at the ceremony, Mr. Naoto Nikai expressed the hope that the financial contribution will be fully utilized for the improvement of the country's health sector including the improvement of the health of mothers and their children.
He stated that in spite of the natural disaster Japan suffered last year, it is still committed to Ghana's development hence the decision to provide the grants to the government of Ghana.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Alhaji Mumuni Mohammed who signed the agreement on behalf of the government of Ghana also said the grants meant for poverty reduction and the provision of an improved and affordable health delivery system in Ghana will undoubtedly assist government in its efforts to achieve the millennium development goals as well as contribute to the realization of government's better Ghana agenda.
The Minister expressed government's appreciation for the gesture stating that Japan has steadfastly remained a true friend recounting the numerous grants, financial aid and technical assistance it has offered in favour of Ghana's rapid socio-economic development.