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08.07.2004 General News

WFP presents $406,000 worth of food to the North

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Accra, July 8, GNA - The World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday handed over a consignment of food aid valued at 406,000 dollars to the Ministry of Lands and Forestry for distribution to people in deprived areas in the three Northern Regions.

The food assistance is to provide incentive to the poor within the three Regions in areas that had shown signs of degradation, to participate in the management and sustainable use of the natural resources and thereby increase their food security.

The donation, which is being done under the Savannah Resource Management Programme, is made up of 27,500 bags of rice; 1,600 bags of lentil beans and 1,840 cartons of vegetable oil.

Presenting the items, Ms Trudy Bower, Country Director WFP, said commodities were a donation from the US government in response to a proposal submitted to the US Food for Progress Programme in October 2002.

The donation is the first among three others that would be carried out by the WFP to help poor communities in the savannah regions to reduce hunger in those areas.

Ms Bower said 15,762 men and women in 145 communities were expected to benefit from the consignment.

"The programme's long term objectives is to reduce environmental degradation and create, rehabilitate and maintain the natural resource base in order to provide secure and sustainable livelihoods in the three Northern regions" Ms Bower said.

The activity seeks to increase household and community-owned assets such as fruit trees and forestry plantations and water management activities such as dams, reservoirs and dugouts through food-for-work. Receiving the items, Professor Dominic Kweku Fobih, Minister of Lands and Forestry, said it was a further demonstration of the goodwill Ghana continued to enjoy from friendly nations and international organisations for her good governance and sound economic policies.

He said the Ministry in collaboration with WFP had identified some specific activities to be supported under the food assistance programme, including the establishment of tree nurseries and woodlots on community and individuals' degraded lands.

Other activities would include the clearing of forest reserve boundaries, planting of trees in degraded reserves, construction of fire belts/green belt, and water shed management including construction of dams and dug-outs.