Mr Paul Pleva, the Acting Deputy Mission Director of the United States International Development Agency (USAID) has said the Resilience in Northern Ghana (RING) Phase ll project is critical to incorporate gender equity and inclusion.
It would also engage the youth in its activities and allow the Ministry of Local Government and all other relevant authorities to implement their own plans to improve nutrition and resilience in the communities.
Mr Pleva said this during the launch of the RING Phase ll project at Nadowli in the Nadowli-Kaleo District, which is expected to benefit five district assemblies in the Upper West Region, four in the Upper East Region, two in the North East Region and six in the Northern Region.
He said under the RING Phase ll project, the United States government had provided a 9 million US dollar grant to the government of Ghana to facilitate its implementation for a five-year period.
The project assistance would go directly through the local government structures and this special approach meant that success would be measured not only by the provision of services funded by the United States, but also by improvement of the systems that manage government’s own programmes and resources.
Mr Pleva said the RING systems strengthening would help the local entities plan and implement their activities, strengthen their public financial management and monitor the work and improve transparency and accountability of services delivery by the districts.
He said the project was meant to sustain delivery of services that would lead to improved nutrition, food security, climate mitigation interventions and the wellbeing of targeted communities.
This would also improve quality service provision in the areas of health, water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, education and agriculture in the beneficiary Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
The Deputy Mission Director said the second phase of the RING in northern Ghana was built on decades of collaborations between the United States Government and Ghana.
“Our countries had long worked together to improve economic opportunities as well as health, nutrition and educational outcomes,” he said.
“For example, between 2015 and 2019, Ring Phase One project supported 17 district assemblies to help reduce severe stunting from 12 per cent to 6.6 per cent, supported 535 communities to reach open defecation free status, resulting in more than 127,000 people with expanded access to improved sanitation facilities,” he added.
Mr Pleva said with the support, community members created 3,250 Village Saving and Loan Associations and the members saved and accessed 2.6 million dollars in loans.
He said RING phase l project also supported smallholder farmers to diversify their crops production, including the introduction of soyabeans farming and more than 13, 900 farmers benefited from the project and continued to grow soyabeans on their own.