Social Investment Fund intervention creates over 19,000 direct jobs

JobsOver 19, 910 direct jobs have been created by the Social Investment Fund (SIF), an intervention, fighting to win the battle against rural and urban poverty.

Additionally, it has provided vocational skills to 1,864 young people to keep them away from the streets.

A facts-sheet made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi, said the Fund, set up by the government, together with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), since year 2002, had completed a total of 1,318 socio-economic infrastructures.

The projects include 710 schools, 168 health structures, 106 water facilities, 78 sanitation infrastructure, construction of 17 roads and culverts, 24 markets and lorry parks, 13 information communication and technology (ICT) centres and 203 income generating activities.

These, it said, had directly impacted the lives of more than 1.6 million people, representing 10 per cent of the nation’s poor.

The Fund over the period had actively engaged in growing micro, small and medium enterprises.

This was done through the provision of microcredit to the productive poor and a mix of medium-term loans, management and entrepreneurship training to small-scale enterprises.

The document said, the SIF microcredit, which was started with a revolving fund of GHȼ1.9 million had grown to GHȼ9.3 million, and that, 60 rural banks and financial non-governmental organizations (FNGOs) had accessed credit for 20,000 beneficiaries – 80 per cent of them women.

Its medium-term-loans began with a seed capital of GHȼ1.5 million in the year 2008, and this had more than doubled – lending a total of GHȼ3,083,795 to 1,583 beneficiaries made up of 1,413 women and 170 men.

The other high points were cash support to 4,815 children of primary school age, the absence of which could have denied them education, and identification of 3,356 households and 10,096 persons for direct financial assistance totalling GHȼ730,730.

It made reference to a baseline data gathered in all the 10 regions that showed that some basic schools still hold classes under trees, inadequate community-based health planning and services (CHPS) compounds, lack of nurses and teachers accommodation and limited access and said these were challenges, it was now focusing on.

The target was to build at least 1,000 classroom blocks, 200 CHPS compound, nurses and teachers quarters, every year, for a period of five years. It would also step up financial and non-financial support to small and medium enterprises.

Source: GNA

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