Government has received US$150million in additional financing from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project 2 (GPSNP 2).
The funding, according to a statement released in Washington by the World Bank, will expand and enhance social safety nets and provide access to productive income-generating opportunities for the poor. It will also support the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), the country’s largest social assistance programme which reaches 3.6 million children in public kindergartens and primary schools across all 261 municipal, metropolitan and district assemblies.
As part of Ghana’s programme with the IMF, government has made commitments to safeguard and increase social spending to protect the poor and vulnerable during this time of fiscal distress.
Ghana’s social safety net programmes supported by GPSNP 2 are central to protecting the poor, improving food security, and increasing productivity and human capital. However, given recent fiscal challenges, release of payments for government-funded social protection programmes have largely been delayed.
“The World Bank is happy to support this project with additional financing in these times of macroeconomic challenges, to enable it meet its commitments on social spending and maintain critical social assistance programmes while the country works toward fiscal recovery,” Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, noted.
The support, Mr. Laporte explained, is also consistent with Ghana’s overall vision for development as stated in the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017–2024) and government’s vision for Ghana’s social protection sector, including productive, gainful employment for the poor.
The project builds on its predecessor and previous World Bank financed projects (since 2010), supporting the government of Ghana to strengthen its social protection system and increase transparency and efficiency to maximise programme impact.
The GPSNP will also provide technical assistance to identify potential sources of sustainable social protection financing.
It will assist government to safeguard and improve regularity of payments within the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and Ghana School Feeding Programme, and provide employment opportunities to about 32,000 caterers and cooks in addition to providing a daily meal for school-going children.
The GPSNP 2 additional financing also seeks to increase funding under the LEAP to support government in meeting its budget commitments for an increase in transfer value to the targetted 350,000 beneficiaries, given its major erosion due to inflation in the past year.
It will scale up the Productive Inclusion Intervention by providing sustainable livelihoods to 60,000 beneficiaries (up from 25,000 currently), and expanding access to the Labour-Intensive Public Works short-term employment programme to 90,000 beneficiaries (up from 60,000 currently).