Ghana School Feeding Programme adopts Technical Assistance Plan

The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) has adopted a Technical Assistance Plan (TAP) to serve as a working document for its operation.

The overall objective of the Plan, which was sponsored by the Partnership for Child Development (PCD), a child development NGO, is to support government ownership of the programme and build the needed capacity to effectively implement of the programme.

“The document will also ensure an enabling environment for effective collaboration with development partners and the civil society,” said Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.

Mr Ofosu Ampofo, who addressed participants during the closing ceremony of a three-day sensitisation workshop for newly appointed Regional Coordinators and Programme Officers on Thursday, pledged government’s commitment in the provision of an enabling environment for the smooth implementation of the Plan adopted at the closing ceremony.

The three-day workshop which was under the theme: “Planning for Action: Building a Sustainable GSFP through Collaboration and Partnership”, was attended by about 70 participants.

It was to strengthen the programme’s implementation and solicit ideas to review the second phase as the first phase ends this year.

The participants were also expected to be well oriented to understand the concept and their duties in their respective job descriptions.

He charged implementers and partners of the GSFP to ensure accountability and transparency in their handling of the programme and also to ensure that challenges encountered in the past, especially with the selection of the beneficiary schools, were not repeated.

Mr Seidu Adamu, National Coordinator of the GSFP, noted that 700,202 pupils in all the 170 district assemblies were hooked onto the programme as of January 2011.

“An expansion exercise will be conducted to help us attain the set target of hooking 1,040,000 pupils by the end of this year.”

He said the National Secretariat would endeavour to come out with a clear National Policy on the programme by the end of the year by consolidating into one policy document all cross-cutting policies by the various collaborating ministries.

Mr Adamu appealed to the government to come out with a legislation to back the sustenance of the GSFP in order to identify and legalise sources of funding of the programme.

He expressed his appreciation to PCD for its keen commitment to the School Feeding Programme, especially in the provision of the TAP.

Mr Ishmael Omar, Country Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), said his programme would sponsor a pilot programme on linkages between small holder farmers and caterer.

“To make the programme more home grown, we need to link caterers to small farmers within the vicinity of the schools. This will create market for the small farmers and inject money in the local economy,” he explained.

Mr Omar pledged the WFP’s assistance in the provision of a capacity-building programme to the GSFP.

Mr Daniel Mumuni, Country Programme Manager of PCD, said although the implementation of the GSFP had boosted school enrolment, attendance and other educational achievements, not much was known about the nutritional impacts of using local foods.

He said PCD had been given 12 million US dollars by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation to support activities of the School Feeding programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sourve: GNA

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