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Business News Tue, 9 Sep 2003

?752.4 Billion of HIPC Fund released so far

Accra, Sept. 9, GNA - Government has so far allocated 752.4 billion cedis under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Funds, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said this when he took his turn at the Meet-The-Press series in Accra. He said 266.79 billion cedis of the amount was released in 2002, adding that 485.61 billion cedis was released between January and end of August 2003.

He said a total of 513.47 billion cedis has been allocated for use by the various Sector Ministries of which 157.53 billion cedis went to local government agencies, notably, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said 81.4 billion cedis had also been allocated for domestic debt reduction while 135.9 million dollars, about 1.14 trillion cedis had been lodged into the HIPC Account at the Bank of Ghana as at June last year.

"The amount was received from multilateral creditors such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, IMF, European Union and Paris Club creditors."

Highlights of The Press Conference on status of HIPC Relief Programme

In view of the importance of transparency and accountability to the NPP government under H.E. President John Agyekum Kufuor, he said, it was necessary to give periodic updates on the current status of the HIPC relief which has actually crystallized, and the allocations and disbursements made so far to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

The Minister also said that since June 2002 a total amount of about US$135.9million dollars (approximately ?1.14trillion) has been lodged into the HIPC account at the Bank of Ghana. The amount was received from multilateral creditors such as World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB), IMF, EU and from Paris Club creditors.

He said, the following allocations have been made to the following Ministries out of the 2003 HIPC allocations:

1. Ministry of Food and Agriculture- ?20.4 billion

2. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Sector-?64.56 billion

3. Ministry of Works and Housing-?21.76 billion

4. Ministry of Roads & Highways –?40.8 billion

5. Ministry of Health -?17.0 billion

6. Ministry of Energy –?34 billion

7. Ministry of Lands and Forestry – ?34 billion

8. Ministry of Interior –?13.6 billion

9. Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment –?8.16 billion

10. Ministry of Communications and Technology –?10.88 billion

11. Ministry of Private Sector Development –?9.52 billion

12. Ministry of Information –?8.16 billion

13. Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs – ?2.72 billion

14. Ministry of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City - ?6.8 billion

Government has also decided to provide additional amount of ?183.6billion to be released to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies as follows:

The HIPC relief which is made available to most sector Ministries, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are expected to stimulate growth in the economy, reduce poverty specifically and create employment throughout the country.

Ministries allocated 293 billion cedis HIPC fund

Accra, Sept. 9, GNA - Ministries have so far received 293.08 billion cedis from government, being their share from the HIPC Initiative. Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said that government as at June last year had lodged 135.9 million dollars (1.14 trillion cedis) into the HIPC account at the Bank of Ghana. "The amount was received from multi-lateral creditors such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, IMF, European Union and Paris Club creditors."
He said this in Accra on Tuesday when he took his turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra. The Minister was giving a status report of the utilization of HIPC funds so far.
He said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is to receive 20.4 billion cedis to support it to achieve growth and employment in the agriculture sector while the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MYES) is to be allocated 24.48 billion cedis as deposit for the upgrading of 31 senior secondary schools in selected districts in all the 10 regions.
"This support is to improve basic teaching and learning facilities in senior secondary schools," he added.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said 40.8 billion cedis has also been allocated to support funding for 6 unit classroom blocks for four towns in each district, which will be disbursed through the district assemblies.
"The MYES and Local Government and Rural Development will coordinate the project."
The Ministry of Works and Housing has been allocated 21.76 billion cedis with the Ministry of Roads and Highways getting 40.8 billion cedis for feeder roads programmes aimed at supporting agricultural production, including cocoa.
The Ministry of Health is getting 17.0 billion cedis while the Ministry of Energy has been allocated 34 billion cedis to push for rural electrification and consolidation and improvement of existing energy supply systems.
The Ministry of the Interior had 13.6 billion cedis, Lands and Forestry 34 billion cedis and Manpower Development and Employment 8.16 billion cedis.
He said 10.88 billion cedis has been allocated to the Ministry of Communications and Technology to facilitate the provision of IT and general communications facilities for communities with senior secondary schools.
"Part of the allocation will also be used for the rehabilitation of post offices in a number of rural communities," Mr Osafo-Maafo added. The Ministries of Private Sector Development, Information, Women and Children Affairs and Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City were also allocated various sums of money. The Minister of Information, Nana Akomea, said amendments are being made to the GETFUND Law to enable the Ghana Institute of Journalism and the National Film and Television Institute access funding.

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Source: GNA/ISD
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