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18.01.2005 General News

Ghana has made progress on poverty reduction - Nayram

By GNA

Ho, Jan. 18, GNA - Ghana has made progress on poverty reduction over the past decade, but a considerable effort is still needed to achieve a sustainable reversal in the slide in living standards since independence.

Mr Charles Nayram, a Rural Institution Development Specialist, said the overall incidence of poverty in the country fell from 50 per cent in 1992 to 43 per cent in 1999, however, the reduction was inequitable across the socio-economic groups and was geographically uneven so that while overall social indicators had improved, education and health services favoured urban areas rather than rural areas.

Mr Nayram was speaking at an orientation workshop on the Government's Community Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP), formerly Village Infrastructure Project (VIP), for 25 participants drawn from the Regional Planning Co-ordinating Units (RPCUs) and Regional Heads of Decentralised Departments throughout the country at Ho on Tuesday. It was organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD).

Mr Nayram said the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) has been formulated in alignment with the Medium Term Development Goal (MDGs) to achieve a sustainable and equitable growth and the protection of the vulnerable and excluded within a decentralised democratic environment. He said CBRDP had, therefore, been integrated into the Regional Co-ordinating Councils (RCCs) and the District Assemblies with a view to ensuring a holistic approach to community initiative-driven strategy to poverty reduction.

The project would focus on giving power to the ordinary people, who would determine what they wanted, draw their plans and present them for funding towards achieving "accelerative growth," he said.

Mr Nayram said it was hoped that through this approach, poverty could be reduced substantially to enhance quality lives for beneficiaries, who would thereby be empowered to demand transparency and accountability from local government authorities about project funding.

Mr Brown Matthew Oppong, National Co-ordinator of CBRDP, said the Project was determined to use all that was within its reach to make the country's decentralisation action plan, a dream come true within the four years.

Mr Steve Selormey, Volta Regional Coordinating Director, in a speech read for him, asked the Project Coordinators to provide subsidy and other resources to the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) to enable the Regional Planning Coordinating Units (RPCU) function as required under the Project.

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