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20.04.2004 General News

Gov’t Under Pressure - GPRS Faces Collapse

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The implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) and the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is currently stifled; due to the lack of funds, which government says is threatening to collapse the programme.

Government is therefore in a bid to salvage the situation making a case to donor communities for increased aid and investment. Minister of State for Economic Planning, Samuel Nii Noi Ashong said government would in the near term prepare and source for financing for an ambitious but realistic programme of public expenditures that are within the context of the GPRS aimed at putting the country on the development goal framework.

According to the minister, in spite of the sound policy recommendations in the GPRS as well as government commitment to implement the millennium development goals, the country is confronted with huge resource constraints which if not addressed would derail the implementation of the GPRS and halt the progress of the MDCs.

Dr. Ashong said, government is working closely with the Millennium Project Secretariat and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) to overcome the current financial constraint.

“We are confident of achieving the MDC's if these resource constraints are removed through increased aid and investment. This according to the minister would accelerate the implementation of an MDG-based GPRS because of the several opportunities that the country stands to gain from its implementation. He said challenges faced by government in its poverty reduction agenda pose a threat to the implementation of the programme.

Given the sound policy framework under pinning the current GPRS, it should not be difficult to convert some into an MDG-oriented expenditure programme, the minister said. He stated that government's commitment to sustaining the modest gains achieved so far remains resolute, which is reflected in the allocation of a adequate budgetary resources to support the growth of deprived and vulnerable communities.

According to him, the country's ability to reach the MDG's of promoting gender equality and combating HIV/AIDS and other crippling diseases hinges on the country's ability to mobilize adequate levels of resources to take significant investments in basic social services.