June 18, 2024
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Lack of transparency and accountability may force us to cut support to School Feeding Programme – World Bank

The World Bank has called for transparency and accountability in the government’s School Feeding Programme.

It warned that it might be forced to cut financial support to the School Feeding Programme if the government fails to implement reforms that address full transparency and accountability.

In an interview on the Business Edition of PM Express on Thursday, the World Bank Country Director, Pierre Frank Laporte explained that the decision is to ensure that the programme is done the “right way.”

“We’ve been very clear that in the new project, we expect full transparency and accountability…we are very clear. If the government refuses to do school feeding the right way, we will restructure the project and not support that activity,” he told to George Wiafe.

He also said the politicisation of the programme is also a concern for the bank.

The World Bank Country Director added that the Bank does not want its projects to be seen as “political tools.”

“We’ve been talking directly to the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Local Government on the School Feeding Programme. Because we know School Feeding Programme can get very political. There can be favours and stuff like that,” he said.

The social intervention programme which started in 2005 seeks to enhance food security and reduce hunger in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals on hunger, poverty, and malnutrition but has been plagued with funding challenges.

They have vowed not to cook for the school children until the monies owed them are paid.

The caterers insist they will not be moved by empty promises this time.

Meanwhile, World Bank Country Director to Ghana says Ghana is likely to receive the first tranche of $300 million from the World Bank if the two are able to finally reach an agreement on the conditionality.

According to him, the government needs to present a strong reform package before the World Bank will release the $300 million facility which is expected to serve as budget support.

The $300 million in the first tranche of a $1.1 billion facility the World Bank has extended to Ghana over a four-year to support the country’s budget while it’s under the IMF programme.

Pierre Laporte noted that should government and the World Bank reach an agreement; the first tranche of the money will hit the country’s accounts by September of this year.

“Our plan, our hope is we can bring this to the board by September. But it will all depend on how fast we reach an agreement with the government on the pro-actions.

“It may be September, it may be October, but we’re hoping we need to do it this year because IMF has factored it into its financing gap,” he said on Thursday.

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