Workshop on progress report of GPRS 11 underway in Koforidua

A four-day workshop to engage MDAs to review status of implementation of the recommendations of the 2007 Annual Progress Report of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) Two and pro-poor budget allocations for 2010 budget opened in Koforidua on Monday. The workshop, which is being organized by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Poverty Reduction, aims to explore corrective measures MDAs have taken to implement findings and recommendations of the 2007 African Peer Review (APR) of the GPRS Two in the 2008 and 2009 budgets. It also aims to indicate plans for financial resource allocations being considered for pro-poor programmes and projects in the 2010 budget among other things. Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Chairman, Special Parliamentary Committee on Poverty Reduction, said it was expected that at the end of the workshop the committee would have been facilitated to deliver on its oversight responsibility of ensuring that MDAs implement poverty reduction programmes as envisaged in their budgets. He said the workshop was expected to have raised the consciousness of MDAs in the preparation of pro-poor budgeting and would have re-oriented planners and budget drafters to making their budgets pro-poor. Mr Humado, the Member of Parliament for Anlo, said the committee required increased capacity building and supports in order to discharge its mandate successfully and thanked the UNDP, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and parliament for their support. He said the main challenge of the committee since its inception had been how to distinguish its role and mandate from those of existing Select Committees of Parliament responsible for specific MDAs in such a way that it would not duplicate and conflict their work. Mr Humado said the focus of the Committee was on pro-poor policies, budgetary allocations, expenditures, programmes and projects associated with the attainment of the MDG and matters arising from GPRS. Those policies, he said, included basic education, primary health care, poverty focused agriculture, rural water and sanitation, provision of feeder roads and water transport to rural farming areas, rural electrification and employment and job creation. Dr K.K. Kamara, UNDP Country Representative, said Ghanaians should take collective responsibility towards the development of the country. He said Ghana had the ability to deal with poverty and pledged the support of the UNDP in that regard. The UNDP is financing the workshop