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22.03.2006 General News

UK grants Ghana 120 million pounds budgetary support


Accra, March 22, GNA - The UK government is to provide 120 million pounds as direct budgetary support to Ghana over the next three years under the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support Programme (MDBSP). Mr Gordon Wetherell, UK High Commissioner and Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Finance and Economic Planning Minister, on Monday signed the document that is the largest single grant ever to be provided by the UK.

It is to support government's plans to achieve the GPRS targets such as training more teachers and midwives, providing access to potable water in schools and reducing the vulnerability to and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Besides, it would support economic growth by funding investment in agriculture and infrastructure and improve land tenure systems. Five million pounds of the total grant would be for capacity building in financial management.

Mr Wetherell described the support as a landmark in UK's aid partnership with Ghana and said the grant recognized the many positive results of the MDBSP to date as well as the UK's confidence that the government would continue to use budget support well. He praised government's commitment to building the economic foundation for growth saying, " has achieved one of the fastest rates of poverty reduction in Africa in recent years". "During the lifetime of the MDBSP we have seen government nearly double its investment in poverty reduction programmes," Mr Wetherell added. He welcomed government's plans to boost service delivery capacity in the public service noting that it was central to Ghana's progress towards middle-income status and the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr Wetherell said it was important for government to build a truly open and well-informed national debate about the budget and development results. Mr Baah-Wiredu expressed appreciation to the UK government and noted that a grant of 105 million pounds was provided to Ghana between 2002 and 2005. He said government would continue to pursue policies that would enhance poverty reduction, good governance and the growth of the private sector.