Ghana School Feeding Programme to re-target beneficiaries

The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) Secretariat is to take schools in affluent urban communities off the programme, in order to maximize its availability to pupils in poor rural areas.

Mr Francis Y. Agyarko, Deputy National Co-ordinator of the GSFP, announced this at a sensitization workshop for media practitioners in Ho on Saturday.

Mr Agyarko explained that “re-targeting” was necessary to correct flaws in the initial stages of the implementation of the Programme, which went counter to its pro-poor principle.

He explained that one of the strategic principles underpinning the GSFP was to “provide one hot, balanced, meal each school going day to school children in most deprived districts and communities.”

Mr Agyarko urged the media to help educate communities who might oppose the “re-targeting”.
He said the GSFP, which was suspended due to sponsorship difficulties would reach the set target by the end of this year.

Mr Agyarko said consultants would undertake evaluation and redesigning of the Programme to give it a complete “metamorphosis.”

He said the Programme has proved very beneficial and needed an Act of Parliament to back its establishment to guarantee continuity.

Mrs Sarah Agbey, a facilitator at the workshop, said a “Social Accountability” component has been introduced into the GSFP, to ensure that duty bearers were accountable to the public in the implementation of the Programme.

She said: “the overall goal of the Social Accountability project is to enhance effective and efficient implementation of GSFP through improved social accountability to increase interest, ownership and responsiveness of local stakeholders.”

Mrs Agbey asked the media to show interest in the implementation of the Programme.

She appealed to journalists to seek explanations concerning the Programme with the appropriate authorities rather than rushing matters to the public domain.

Mrs Agbey said that news about the Programme must seek to win donor confidence adding “ The motive behind such stories should be constructive”.

Mrs Irene Messiba of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, focal person of the GSFP, said the National Secretariat of Programme “is developing proposals (different options) for government’s consideration.”

She said the Programme was not designed to enrich the local caterers but to benefit the pupils and address rural poverty.

Source: GNA

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