Ghana is a peaceful and stable democracy, making good progress toward its goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2020. With economic growth rates consistently topping 6 percent over recent years, Ghana is being hailed as an emerging African economic success story. It has had five consecutive democratic elections and two peaceful transitions of power since 1992, leading other African nations to look to Ghana for assistance with their own elections.
Since 1990, the Ghanaian government has been working closely with the donor community and has nearly halved the number of citizens living in extreme poverty. However, about 30 percent of Ghanaians still live on less than US$1.25/day. Some two million individuals have limited access to food, and food shortages are recurring in the three northern regions. Children are especially vulnerable, with approximately 12 percent of Ghana's children under the age of five currently underweight. Ghana ranks 135 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's 2012 human development index.
In terms of the 2008 international food crisis, Ghana has been fairly successful in minimizing the effects by means of social support programs and such measures as the removal of import duties and taxes on food and fuel.
However, Ghana does face serious macroeconomic challenges, including high inflation, significant deficits, and a growing debt load due, in part, to high public sector spending to ease the impact of the international food and fuel price crises.
Ghana is still vulnerable to the ongoing effects of the global economic crisis, and poverty has recently deepened among some groups, especially women, farmers, and people living in the northern regions.
Ghana's main challenges include:
- Weak public sector institutions, resulting in poor delivery of basic services in areas such as agriculture, health, and education.
- Persistent food insecurity in the three northern regions.
- Limited access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
- Inequality between women and men.
In 2014, Ghana was confirmed as a country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts. In keeping with this agenda, Canada continues to provide direct support to the Government of Ghana's budget in order to carry out the objectives of Ghana's national plan.
Canada's international development program in Ghana builds on efforts already being undertaken by the Government of Ghana to support public sector reform, promote a stronger parliamentary role in terms of government oversight and accountability, and enhance public participation in the development and assessment of government plans and policies. Canada continues to have a strategic focus in the North—where poverty and food insecurity are highest—and continues to dialogue with the Government of Ghana, other donors, and various Canadian and local civil society organizations for more effective aid delivery.
Children and youth
Canada supports the Government of Ghana in playing a lead role in the design, development, and implementation of a multidonor program to support Ghana's new national water policy, which will have a significant impact on the health and well-being of women, children, and youth.
In keeping with Ghana's decentralization plan to deliver basic services more efficiently at the local level, Canada also provides increasing technical and financial assistance to local governments to help them provide health and education services that benefit children and youth.
Key anticipated results
- Developed water systems in a sustainable manner in 13 northern districts.
- Provided rural communities and small towns with access to safe drinking water.
- Provided households with access to safe drinking water in urban areas.
Canada supports efforts to increasing food security in Ghana through:
- Continued investment in community-level food security initiatives in the North.
- Complementary investments in agricultural research and in the strengthening of farmer-based organizations.
- Support to sustainable management of land and water resources.
Canada also continues to support efforts to the strengthen Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture by helping it be more effective in implementing the national food and agriculture sector development policy.
Key anticipated results
- Trained government officials of the Northern Regional Coordination Council in the planning, coordination, and monitoring of food security initiatives.
- Strengthened farm-based organizations to function smoothly and support agricultural productivity.
- Improved access for farmers-women and men-to improved technology, farming advice, and agricultural supplies.
Aid effectiveness, as the term implies, is an approach for improved delivery and monitoring of aid to achieve greater efficiency, strengthened partnerships, and greater results. Overall, aid to Ghana is more untied, and more funds are flowing through program-based approaches. As well, donor coordination of analysis and reporting is more effective.
In 2008, Ghana hosted the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and, in recent years, it has demonstrated strong ownership of the development agenda. The Government of Ghana has prepared a new aid policy containing bold measures to strengthen Ghanaian ownership and leadership of development cooperation in the country.
- Provided supplementary feeding to 67,000 children under five and 101,500 pregnant and lactating women suffering from malnutrition.
- Provided over 125,000 people with more than 10,000 metric tons of food through Food-For-Assets and Food-For-Training programs.
- Contributed to the increased production of staple foods from 28 million metric tonnes in 2010 to 28.8 million in 2011, making more food available for purchase throughout Ghana in spite of a poor growing season due to scarce and erratic rainfall.
- Trained 3,445 small food processors (80 percent female) on eight different technologies for processing crops to help reduce post-harvest losses and add market value.
- Helped build 250 dams and dugouts to provide a secure water supply for household and agricultural needs.
Children and Youth
- Helped improve access to safe water, reaching 63 percent of the population nationwide, up from 59 percent in 2009.
- Helped increase access to improved sanitation, reaching 16 percent of the population nationwide in 2011, compared to 13 percent in 2010.
- Through support to the Catalytic Initiative, trained over 15,000 front-line health workers and provided treatment for over 500,000 cases of childhood diseases between 2007 and 2012.
- Increased tuberculosis treatments by 70 percent and screening by 60 percent in 10 hospitals in Accra.
- Agricultural growth reached an estimated 5.3 percent for 2010, maintaining a positive trend of growth between 4 and 7 percent over the last three years, with the highest level recorded in 2009 (7.2 percent).
- Helped improve access to services such as storage, marketing, and credit; and provided enterprise training to 1,480 farmers, 40 percent of them women.
- Provided nutritious food to nearly 130,000 people in areas affected by droughts and floods and helped improve nutrition monitoring in the north, increasing the number of surveillance sites from 102 to 182.
- Trained more than 5,000 community-based volunteers and trainers to recognize malnutrition among young people, which resulted in 2,530 malnourished children being admitted to community care facilities in the three northern regions.
- Provided training and equipment to more than 1,000 women from 27 women's groups across the three northern regions to help them mill and fortify flour and fortify salt with iodine and re-bag it.
Children and youth
- Helped increase access to safe drinking water in rural areas, meeting the 63 percent target set for 2010 as compared to 59 percent in 2009.
- Helped achieve the virtual elimination of guinea worm disease by providing potable water, with only 8 indigenous cases reported in 2010, down from 242 in 2009 and more than 7,000 in 2004.
- Helped to improve the learning environment for approximately 40,000 students (including 16,000 girls) by building more than 1,100 new classrooms over the past several years.
- Contributed to agricultural growth of 6.2 percent in 2009, up from 5.1 percent in 2008.
- Helped train 55 community livestock workers in disease control, who then assisted farmers in 180 communities, resulting in improved health and longevity of livestock.
- Supported the implementation of 254 community-based food security initiatives and the participatory development of 250 community action plans and 74 area-level plans in twelve districts in northern Ghana.
Children and youth
- Helped 90 percent of pregnant women undertake at least one antenatal visit.
- Helped the national Youth Employment Programme provide jobs to more than 110,700 young people in 2009.
- Helped approximately 1,700 schools and 657,000 children benefit from the national school feeding program in 2009, compared to 975 schools and 476,000 children in the previous year.
- Helped increase the enrolment rate at the primary school level to 88.5 percent.
- Helped the government to complete 605 new water points in rural communities in 2009.
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