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04.05.2005 Regional News

¢6.1Bn Poverty Cash Locked Up

By Times
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Due to a misunderstanding among Bawku East and the Garu Tempane District Assemblies, ¢6.1 billion allocated to the Assembly under the Poverty Alleviation Fund has been locked up in the Besfa Rural Bank for the past four years.

The Poverty Alleviation Fund was set up to provide micro-credit facilities to the poor with the aim of eradicating poverty in communities. The fund constitutes 20 per cent of the district assemblies Common Fund.

The Assemblies inability to disburse the funds has, therefore, brought untold hardships to the people, who are mostly farmers. The situation was disclosed at the annual general meeting of the Besfa Rural Bank at Garu at the weekend, in a speech read on behalf of the Upper East regional minister, Boniface Gambilla.

Mr Gambilla asked the feuding parties, the Bawku East municipal and the Garu Tempane district assemblies, to resolve their differences to enable the money to be released for its designated purposes.

“The Government will not sit unconcerned and allow a few selfish people to deny the masses their right,” he stressed in the speech.

He explained that as part of the plans to make rural banks the catalysts for development in rural areas, the Government decided to channel a percentage of the common fund through rural banks to provide loans to farmers and organized groups to enhance productivity.

Mr Gambilla also appealed to beneficiaries of loans given by the bank, not to regard the moneys as compensation for their support for a particular political partner. Rather, he said the loans should be repaid to enable others to access credit.

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