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22.07.2004 Regional News

Northern Region Poverty Reduction Programme underway

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Sankpala (N/R), July 22, GNA - The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), has launched a 12.3 million-dollar, Northern Region Poverty Reduction Programme (NORPREP), at Sankpala in the West Gonja District.

The Programme will focus on women and other vulnerable groups through the deepening and broadening of rural development services. About 280,000 rural families in the Region will benefit from community development, capacity building, sustainable agricultural development and husbandry practices as well as an increase in food security and improve access to education, health and safe drinking water.

Mr Mohamed Manssouri, IFAD Programme Manager, said the NORPREP was among 12 projects being funded by the world body, at the cost of 140 million dollars.

He said NORPREP was a community-driven development programme, which would facilitate Government's decentralization policy through the participatory planning and budgeting process designed by the National Development Planning Commission.

Mr Manssouri said on the global front, the programme would contribute greatly to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development said in a speech read on his behalf, the institutional arrangements for managing IFAD supported programmes in the country was a turning point.

He stressed, "Our development partners are becoming increasingly aware that the country's decentralized systems needs support to facilitate socio-economic development."

Mr Adjei-Darko said NORPREP would ensure greater participation of the people in the planning and development process, improve accountability in the provision of basic services and provide effective framework for targeting resources at vulnerable groups.

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