Business News of 2013-12-31

World Food Programme donates bicycles

The World Food Programme (WFP) has presented 18 motorbikes valued at US$66,800 to the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in 12 districts in the savanna region of the country.

The donation is to enable the two organisations to improve their monitoring of programmes which they are implementing in collaboration with the WFP.

Some of the beneficiary districts are the Nkwanta North and Nkwanta South in the Volta Region; Lambussie/Kani, Wa East and Wa West districts in the Upper West Region; Bole and Bunkpurugu/Yuyoo districts in the Northern Region; and the Bawku West and Talensi districts in the Upper East Region.

Speaking at a ceremony at the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council to hand over the motorbikes to the beneficiary districts, the WFP Country Director, Ms Pippa Bradford, said her organisation had been supporting the GES and the Ghana School Feeding Programme to provide on-site school meals to 150,000 schoolchildren in 487 schools in the three regions of the north.

“The WFP also works with the GES to provide food rations to 30,000 girls in 521 schools in the Northern and Volta regions to encourage girls to go to school,” she added.

With the GHS, Ms Bradford said the WFP had been offering collaborative support to it in 20 districts in Northern Ghana aimed at improving the nutrition of vulnerable groups through the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition.

“The target groups are children under five, pregnant women, nursing mothers and people living with HIV on anti-retroviral treatment and their family members,” she stated.

The two agencies also provide targeted supplementary feeding to address acute malnutrition and prevent stunting. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are given nutritious food packages during the critical 1000-day window of opportunity to impact a child’s nutritional status, she added.

She said with all these activities being carried out in such a vast area, there was the need to ensure effective monitoring in order to get the desired results.

She, therefore, expressed optimism that the motorbikes would contribute to the successful implementation and monitoring of all the programmes in order to improve their impact on the poor.

The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Bede Ziedeng, thanked the WFP for their countless support which were benefiting a lot of people in Northern Ghana.

He said the nutrition and poverty situation in the area could have been very dire without support from organisations such as the WFP.