December 10, 2014

Parliament has approved a total of Two Hundred and Ninety Million, Nine Hundred and Eighty- Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy Two Ghana Cedis (GHC 290,983,972) for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The sum is allocated to the ministry and its Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (M MDAs) as well as other programmes and projects of the ministry to enable them undertake their planned activities for the 2015 fiscal year.

The Committee on Local Government and Rural Development in a report submitted on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, prior to the approval of the budget indicated that, the District Development Facility (DDF) stands the risk of donor withdrawal if government fails to meet its 31% counterpart funding obligations totaling about GHC 60 million.

The Committee therefore recommended to the Ministry of Finance to ensure that this vital intervention for District Assemblies is not lost as it is currently one of the major funding opportunities available to poor Districts to meet their development responsibility.

It added that effort must therefore be made for the timely release of the counterpart funds for the continuous and smooth of the DDF.

On the issue of Ghana Social Opportunities Project, the Committee observed with worry the inability of the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection to utilize the US$ 5 Million allocation under the Ghana Social Opportunities project in respect of LEAP.

The Ministry could not access the Funds in 2014 because it could only carry out the assessment of 74,000 households instead of the 80,000 which is a precondition to accessing the fund. In addition government could not provide the necessary counterpart funding to enable us access donor funds for the LEAP programme in 2014.

Consequently, funds made available by donor partners are lying down without being utilized whilst our people are still living in abject poverty. Anim