The Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) has presented start-up kits and cash amounts to 131 beneficiaries in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region. A total amount of GH₵77,335.67 was disbursed through the Ezwich electronic payments platform.


The JSDF is a social intervention programme funded by the Japanese Government and the World Bank in partnership with the Government of Ghana and being implemented by the Ghana Social Opportunities Programme (GSOP). It is aimed at reducing poverty among the poor in rural Ghana. The target communities are usually those that were also beneficiaries of other pro-poor programmes of state such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and GSOP.


The Bongo District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga, at a brief presentation ceremony held in Bongo, said the government had resolved to reduce poverty levels drastically and that the JSDF was a very strategic partner. He recalled that since JSDF entered the district in 2016, several rural people including persons with disabilities have benefited from technical training in weaving, shea butter extraction, animal farming and soap production among others.


Mr Ayamga mentioned Kadare, Ayopia, Atanpintim, Soe, Gorigu and Azambuo as some of the beneficiary communities. He was optimistic that the different kinds of start-up packages given the beneficiaries would lead to substantial transformation in their business output and also improve their living standards. He noted that the judicious use of the assistance given them would help to off-load the burden on government in the areas of employment and job creation, as the beneficiaries were expected to become masters over time and also engage others in their businesses.


The DCE explained that, the implementers arranged for suppliers of the items making up the start-up kits such that, the moment beneficiaries received their cash, they turned to the suppliers and purchased their requirements under the observation of the JSDF desk officers and GSOP officials. The reason he added, was to avoid the situation where people receive such social interventions and misapply them.


He hinted that the JSDF was to terminate by August 2018 and advised beneficiaries to live up to expectation so that the government could be justified in making a case for a possible extension and expansion of the intervention.


The Desk Officer in charge of the JSDF/GSOP at the Bongo Assembly, Mr Sibaway Ahmed, in an interview with the ISD disclosed that the current beneficiaries were the second batch of people to benefit from the programme, adding that a similar presentation of cash and kits to the tune of GH₵263,097.00 were made to the first batch of beneficiaries a few months ago.


Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)



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