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19.01.2005 Regional News

C/R urged to show more commitment in poverty reduction

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Cape Coast, Jan. 19, GNA - The engineer in- charge of the World Bank assisted Community-Based Rural Development Project(CBRDP), Mr. Adu -Gyamfi Abunyewa, on Wednesday, called on the Central Regional Coordinating Council and its district assemblies, to avail themselves of the opportunities provided by the project, to accelerate poverty reduction efforts in the region.

He stressed that this is imperative, because although the region is ranked among the poorest in the country, it "was slow" in accessing funds for development, under the Village Infrastructural Project (VIP) which was phased out in December last year.

Mr Abunyewa Adu-Gyamfi, national engineer for the project, who made the call at a day's 'regional briefing' on the project, at Cape Coast, said the CBRDP, is to be implemented over a four- year period, and will focus on the five areas of agriculture, rural enterprise, infrastructure for human development, institutional capacity building and community based natural resources management.

He said the World Bank, has provided an amount of 60 million US dollars for the project, the government of Ghana 10 million dollars, while all district assemblies are to pool a total of three million dollars to assist.

He said of the total amount for the project, 23.34 million dollars has already been made available, for, among others, the construction of new school buildings, rehabilitation of dilapidated ones, and the provision of health posts and community nutrition programmes. Mr Adu-Gyamfi, said the prior objective of the project, is to develop socio-economic infrastructure in the rural areas, through increased transfer of technical and financial resources for development, enhance the quality of life of beneficiaries towards poverty reduction, and make living conditions in those areas attractive to check the rural- urban drift.

"It is about rural poverty reduction and capacity building for an effective local government system", he declared, and in this regard, tasked the region to ensure that its mid-term development plans, focuses in development of infrastructure, such as schools and health delivery facilities.

According to him, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is implementing the project through the district assemblies with support from the Rural Infrastructure Coordinating Unit (RICU), Regional Coordinating Councils as well as identified government departments.

He explained that to access the fund, one would have to identify a project, write a proposal and develop a budget plan, and urged all assemblies, communities, ngos and cbos in the region, to access the fund.

He pledged his outfit's preparedness to promote the government's decentralisation process, by transferring the requisite technical and financial resources to build and strengthen the existing capacities of district assemblies and local and area councils. This would them to effectively deliver services and manage resources to ensure transparency and accountability. 19 Jan, 05

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