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21.02.2006 General News

Govt secures funds to fight urban poverty

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Kumasi, Feb. 21, GNA - The government has secured a 37.5 million-dollar loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP) in the three metropolis and nine municipalities and secondary towns in the country.

The beneficiary cities and towns are Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi Takoradi, Ho, Agogo, Akim Oda, Apam, Kasoa, Koforidua, Swedru, Tema and Wenchi. The beneficiary districts are expected to contribute 4.17 million dollars towards the financing of the project.

Madam Ama Serwaah Dapaah, Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), made these known in an address read for her at a day's sensitization workshop organized for stakeholders of the project in the Kumasi metropolis on Tuesday.

The UPRP, which is under the ambit of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, is being implemented by the SIF. Madam Dapaah said the amount was to finance activities in priority areas relating to urban and semi-urban poverty reduction within the context of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) decentralization strategies.

She said the project acknowledged that urban areas had significant pockets of poverty and would thus address the differences in the spatial distribution of poverty and the inclusion of the extreme poor through social protection initiatives.

The Executive Director said the urban focus of the project was based on the assumption that, strengthened linkages between urban systems and the rural economy, complementing ongoing decentralization programme implementation, created synergy for national poverty reduction and national economic growth.

Madam Dapaah said the sensitisation workshop was to inform the members of the assembly and other stakeholders on the objectives, components and the implementation arrangements of the project to enable them to play their respective roles efficiently to ensure its successful implementation.

Madam Patricia Appiagyei, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the government would not renege on its commitment to fight poverty in the country, adding that, the UPRP was a clear manifestation of the government's resolve to fight poverty in urban areas.

She pledged the assembly's support to the successful implementation of the project and urged all stakeholders to play their respective roles efficiently to achieve the objectives.