Government settles part of School Feeding Programme's debt

Government settles part of School Feeding Programme's debt

- Government has paid part of the debt owed the Ghana School Feeding Programme

- It has promised to settle the rest by the end of July, this year

- The caterers have consequently been reminded of their duties, and asked to resume work

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An amount of GHc78.5m has been approved by the government to cater for the parts of the debts accrued as a result of the operation of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).

Government settles part of School Feeding Programme's debt

Otiko Afisa Djaba, Minister of Gender and Social Protection

The payout is designed to cover the five days left of the final term of the 2015-2016 academic year, as well as the first sixty five days of the first term of the 2016-2017 academic year.

The GSFP is a national project aimed at providing one hot nutritious meal to each student of primary school going age. It is a strategy in place to ensure that needy families do not deprive their children of education, under the pretext of their inability to feed them.

Bodies and agencies in partnership with the government of Ghana in this venture are the World Bank, The World Food Programme (WFP), the Partnership for Child Development (PCD), UNICEF, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United States Agnecy for International Development (USAID) and the Dutch Embassy.

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In a statement signed by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms Otiko Afisah Djaba, it was announced that the unsettled debts for the second and the third terms of the 2016/2017 academic year will be cleared by the end of July 2017.

She added that these measures were in consonance with the pledge of the government to keep running the programme. She went on to remind the caterers that, per the terms of their contract, they were under an obligation to perform their mandated duties, and that no one would be remunerated if work hasn’t been done.

The Head of Public Relations of the GSFP, Mr Siiba Alfa, stated that, with the release of the funds, the caterers were expected to continue to cook for the pupils. He added that measures are in place to settle the outstanding debts by the end of July this year.

The programme, has in recent times been experiencing financial challenges, because there have been delays in the release of funds to ensure that the about five thousand caterers who prepare meals for the estimated 1.7m pupils in 216 districts are properly resourced to work as expected.

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