August 22, 2019 5:03 pm

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the World Food Programme as part of their efforts to disseminate the Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) Findings and share the Draft Bill in the development process of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) have met with some key stakeholders at the Tamale Metropolitan Conference Room, on Wednesday 21st August, 2019.

This is a major step in the development process of the GSFP which involves stakeholders sharing views on the benefits, validating findings, proposals for the way forward and to also consider any additional information that previous events may not have captured in the process and advocate for the increment of the feeding grant for the school children from GH₵ 1.00 to GH₵ 1.50p.

The Mayor of Tamale Hon. Iddrisu Musah Superior said the GSFP is a very significant programme that encourages enrolment in our schools and government is doing its possible best to ensure that the programme succeeds in the most excellent manner. He said this current government has done so well in the enrolment and supervision of the programme.

He spoke strongly against some attitudes of some zonal supervisors and caterers saying that some are terrible and he gets disappointed at some of the meals prepared for the young children even upon several interractions with them and that he hopes that their engagement with the Ministry will see some changes for the success of the programme.

Hon. Iddrisu Musah Superior encouraged all stakeholders involved in this huge government initiative to deliver their roles effectively so that the GSFP will become a key government policy that will determine the way forward for the country and their children.

The Ag. National Coordinator for GSFP, Mrs. Gertrude Quashigah said there are about 2,668,011 pupils who are currently benefiting from the Ghana School Feeding Programme in all 265 MMDAs which represents 62% coverage of the public schools.

Mrs. Quashigah said the CBA seeks to assess the direct and indirect benefits of the GSFP, the return on investment made in the programme and finally to show school feeding as an investment and not a cost venture. Adding that with every $ 1 invested in the school feeding programme it will generate an economic return (cost-benefit ratio) of $ 3.3 over the lifetime of the beneficiary.

The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection Mrs. Cynthia Mamle Morrison in her address at Tamale said His Excellency, President Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo has a lot of confidence in the School Feeding Programme to create jobs, boost school enrolment and attendance as well as increase local food production.

She expressed her appreciation to the Government of Ghana, management of the GSFP, WFP and MasterCard Foundation for conducting the CBA on the GSFP to assess the direct and indirect benefits of the feeding programme.

She also seized the opportunity to mention the Cocoa Beverages Project which will soon be launched by his Excellency the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo in October this year. According to Mrs. Morrison the project will provide pupils under the school feeding programme with cocoa drink on each school going day in addition to their school meals thus boosting the nutritional intake of pupils. She added that her Ministry is pushing for the passage of the Ghana School Feeding Bill and therefore the need to engage stakeholders in that regard.

The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Hon. Freda Prempeh also added that the effective and  efficient management of the GSFP will ensure Food Security and it is in this regard that together with her Minister they have activities implemented to ensure the success of the programme and among these activities is the passage of the GSFP Bill.

 The Programme Policy Officer for Tamale Gyamila Abdul-Wahabi in her statement said the school feeding Investment case that is the CBA is carried out through the WFP-MasterCard Employee Engagement Programmme. She said the CBA of school feeding has been undertaken in seventeen (17) countries worldwide including Ghana and the results shows that for each US$ 1 invested the return ranges from US$ 3 to US$ 10 which is an average of 5.5 US dollars.

According to her the CBA findings in Ghana indicates that every cedi invested in school meals for a child yields 33.3% returns or 3.33 cedis with positive impacts on education, productivity and health.

Some MMDCEs were present at the event to also participate in the deliberations on how best they can achieve their aims and objectives of the GSFP.