Social Investment Fund commended for efforts to reduce poverty in Ghana

The government has commended Social Investment Fund (SIF) for its immense contribution to capacity building and logistical support to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to promote poverty reduction in the country.

Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development who made the commendation said government viewed SIF as a strategic institution playing key roles towards achieving poverty reduction.

This was contained in a speech read on his behalf at a Mid-Term Validation Workshop on Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP) in Accra on Wednesday.

The workshop served as a platform to validate the findings of African Development Bank mission and discuss issues of project implementation to ascertain pragmatic measures to be undertaken for speedy execution of the project.

UPRP is a project initiated and executed by SIF as contribution to Ghana’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals that call for a reduction by half of the proportion of poor living on less than dollar a day through urban poverty reduction strategies.

The project includes capacity building for pro-poor urban development and management, social capital and investment support, urban small-scale enterprise development, project management and coordination.

It is targeted to cover 12 Metropolitan, Municipal, Districts and secondary towns including Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, Koforidua, Ho, Tema, Agogo, Akim Oda, Agona Swedru, Apam, Kasoa and Wenchi.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said the project was one of government’s several poverty reduction strategies to accelerate economic growth and improve living standards in the country.

He said poverty reduction efforts should be aimed at making the poor more productive through wealth creation to help them produce enough to meet their needs.

The Sector Minister pointed out that the implementation of government’s developments projects could only be successful when the assemblies were strengthened to undertake their duties.

He urged the participants to bring their expertise and experience on the project to bear on the issues discussed.

Dr Quartey Papafio, Chairman of SIF said more than 1,200 infrastructure projects including 500 classroom blocks, teachers’ quarters and health infrastructure had been provided nationwide and about 1,545,477 people had benefited from these projects.

He said about GH¢5,700,000 in micro loans and GH¢622,000 in medium term loans had been disbursed to reduce poverty in the country.

Mr Joseph Acheampong, Acting Executive Director of SIF said the project had achieved a lot in terms of output and attained completion rates.

He said the average rate of project output deliverables was 62.93 per cent and total disbursement to date was 47 per cent.

SIF was established in 2006 as a joint venture by the Government, United Nations Development Programme and African Development Bank as part of government’s effort to reduce poverty by providing direct assistance to the poor on demand-driven basis.

Source: GNA

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