August 21, 2019 9:39 am

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with World Food Programme have held the Launch of the Dissemination of Cost Benefit Analysis on the Ghana School Feeding Programme at the Banquet Hall RCC Cape Coast on Monday 19th August, 2019. This is to generate evidence for advocacy for increased investment in School Feeding in Ghana as part of some recommendations by stakeholders in school feeding during the National Dissemination and Advocacy workshop on the outcomes of the nutritional survey of the School Feeding Programme conducted by GSFP, WFP AND PCD in December 2017. The workshop was to generate evidence for advocacy for increased investment in School Feeding Programme.

The School Feeding Programme is a social protection programme that provides an opportunity to pursue Ghana’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2 thus Goal 1 seeks to end poverty in all its forms everywhere in the world while Goal 2 aims at ending hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition whiles sustaining agriculture in the security and improve nutrition while sustaining agriculture in the country.

The objective of the ongoing workshop is to share the findings of the GSFP – CBA and also draft bill with wider stakeholders through a 3-belt regional dissemination aimed at enhancing further communication on the benefits of the GSFP and to also advocate for an increment in the feeding grant from GH₵ 1.00 to GH₵ 1.50. It is in this regard that the workshop will share the current status of the GSFP Bill which when passed into law can provide avenues of sustained funds to support the increment of the feeding grant from GH₵ 1.00 to GH₵ 1.50 p.

The Cost Benefit Analysis for School Children is a procedure developed by World Food Programme and the Boston Consulting Group in consultation with the World Bank in 2011which was reviewed in 2016-2017.

According to World Food Programme, the analysis is mainly used for advocacy purposes such as in:

  • Resource mobilization.
  • Resource allocation and targeting, when public funds needs to be directed to school feeding.
  • Partnerships as a school feeding programme to set up synergy partners within the public administration and beyond.
  • Accountability by displaying the estimated value generated by school feeding; this accountability should be understood as both directed towards donors and beneficiaries.

WFP Country Director Miss Rukia Yacoub said the purpose of the analysis is to agree on how best to use the results as advocacy tools for additional support as well as in improving the efficiency of the Ghana School Feeding Programme. It is in this regard that she said the WFP is supporting the Government of Ghana in the implementation of the GSFP since 2006/2007 while focusing on capacity strengthening and policy support through technical assistance.

The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Hon. Thomas Yaw Adjei-Baffoe in his address said the GSFP is associated with some challenges such as poor meals served for school pupils.

 He therefore challenged all stakeholders present at the workshop to take interest in the programme by making contributions that will help enrich the deliberations to strengthen the draft bill to further enhance quality delivery of service to enable them achieve the objective of increasing school enrolment and retention of children in our classrooms and also alleviate poverty  in our society.

According to Hon. Thomas Yaw Adjei- Baffoe there is the need to improve on the implementation by adopting innovative strategies that would make our citizens realize the full benefits of the programme in their communities.   

The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison has categorically stated that His Excellency the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo has a lot of confidence in the programme which aims at creating jobs, boosting enrolment, attendance and increasing local food production.

She added that, government is seeking to adjust the feeding grant from GH₵ 1.00 to GH₵ 1.50 and also expand the programmes coverage to at least 70% by the end of 2020. Hon. Cynthia Morrison expressed her profound gratitude to WFP and MasterCard Foundation for approving a step further to conduct a Cost Benefit on GSFP to assess the direct and indirect benefits of the feeding programme.

Mrs. Morrison said the CBA will extend its scope widely to look at the return on investments in GSFP so it will be appreciated as an investment in our future leaders and not a cost burden on the nation’s purse.

According to Mrs. Morrison her Ministry is still bedeviled with innumerable challenges which requires the support of the private sector and other development partners to overcome since Government resources are very limited. She therefore expressed her profound gratitude to WFP for being a solid partner for the Social Feeding Programme. She was however hopeful that, other reliable partners like WFP come on board so that they can overcome most of the challenges if not all.

Speaking at the event was the National Coordinator for Ghana School Feeding Mrs. Gertrude Quashigah, Director for Monitoring and Evaluation Mr. Mawutor Ablo and some staff of the GSFP. They made presentations on their findings in relation to the Cost Benefit Analysis and allowed participants to make contributions on the best strategies that the Ministry can adapt to achieve the targets of government.

The Ministry will be visiting some parts of the Northern Region and Ashanti Region to engage stakeholders on the Cost Benefit Analysis and the exercise is expected to end on Friday 23rd August, 2019.