Project to improve nutritional, financial security of women, children launched

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An integrated climate smart, nutrition-agriculture-marketing project focusing on transforming the individual agency of women as well as the enabling environment including gender norms and roles, attitudes and behaviour has been launched.
The project dubbed: “Generating Revenues and Opportunities for Women to Improve Nutrition in Ghana” (GROWING) seeks to improve nutritional and financial security of women, youth, and young children.
The four-year and eight-month project is being implemented at Saboba District and Gushegu Municipality in the Northern Region, North Gonja District and West Gonja Municipality in the Savannah Region, and Chereponi District and East Mamprusi Municipality in the North East Region.
It is being funded by the Global Affairs Canada, and led by the International Potato Center (CIP), and co-implemented with CARE International Ghana through strong partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Women in Agricultural Development at the Departments of Agriculture.
Mr Birhanu Temesgen, Project Manager at CIP, who gave details of the GROWING project during its launch in Tamale, said it would also improve support for a more inclusive, gender-equitable, nutritious, climate-smart, and resilient food system.
Statistics have shown that in the northern belt of the country, prevalence of vitamin ‘A’ deficiency among children under five years of age is estimated at 30.5 per cent, which is the highest among all regions of the country while the local diet is also deficient in key nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, iron and B12.
Statistics have also shown that one in five children in the country is stunted and 24% of all deaths amongst children under five years are associated with malnutrition.
Mr Temesgen said the agricultural component of the project would promote orange-fleshed sweet potato roots and leaves, papaya, moringa leaves, amaranth leaves, and a legume (soybean or groundnut) to improve the nutritional status of the beneficiaries.
He said “We also intend to have one small livestock intervention that we have proved its acceptability. The community-based nutrition component will build on the successful experience using Growing Futures Clubs that meet monthly during a nine-month period.”
Miss Shauna Flanagan, Deputy Director (Analysis and Planning), Canadian High Commission in Ghana recounted the Canadian Government’s long history of support to improving livelihoods in Ghana adding the GROWING project would build on the gains made over the years.
She said the project would truly empower the beneficiaries to ensure their wellbeing and support to their communities.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, said the project was no doubt very important in the northern part of the country in particular and the country as a whole as it would also help in the successful implementation of some of government’s flagship projects in the region.
Miss Veronica Quartey, Deputy Director for Nutrition at GHS lauded the project saying it would help to preserve the gains made over the years.
Ewuche Azara, who represented Savannah Region Queen Mothers Association expressed need to transform gender relations, social structures and improve women’s financial security to empower them adding “The GROWING project offers an important entry point for us to drive gender transformation forward.”

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