The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGRD) has launched the second phase of the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP II).
The Phase II of the project is an agreement between the Government of Ghana and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). It would be implemented in 23 districts of the 16 regions of Ghana for five years (2022-2027) with a US$24 million loan facility.
The project has been designed to improve the living conditions of rural communities by providing access to basic infrastructure, and socio-economic services, including health and education, to ensure a sustainable increase in income through the provision of micro-credit to the rural communities.
In an address at the launching ceremony on Wednesday in Accra, the sector minister, Mr Daniel Botwe commended the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for improving living standards in Ghana.
He stated that IRDP II was well defined in four components, stating that the first component involves the construction and equipping of 215 basic socio-economic infrastructure units in the beneficiary Municipalities and Districts.
According to the Minister, the second component of the project is a US$ 3 million credit facility to support SMEs involved in food crop marketing, agro-processing and other activities along the agriculture value chain who were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Botwe added that the third component of the project would see the orientation of about 3,000 people in 130 communities in the 23 beneficiary municipalities and districts.
“The component will also include sensitization of about 160 staff of the beneficiary MMDAs as well as capacity building for at least 17 staff of Social Investment Fund on project design, planning and management” the minister added.
He further noted that the fourth component would encompass the management and coordination of all project activities at the National, Zonal, MDAs and Community levels.
That, according to him, would include upgrading the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) Management Information System, procurement of accounting software, provision of equipment, logistics and stationery for the PIU, procurement of 5 pick-up vehicles for monitoring and evaluation, PIU operating expenses and project auditing.
He urged the assembly members to participate in the exercise massively to achieve the development goal.
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) jointly financed the Integrated Rural Development Project Phase One from 2013 to 2019. The project served 132 communities in 21 Districts across the then 10 regions of Ghana with a population of about 2.3 million. The Integrated Rural Development Project Phase One improved access of the rural poor to basic socio-economic infrastructure and increased agriculture productivity and households’ incomes.
Priscilla Osei-Wusu Nimako, ISD