Launch of a project to improve the nutritional and financial security of women and children
An integrated, climate-smart, nutrition-agriculture-marketing project focused on transforming individual women’s agency as well as the enabling environment, including gender norms and roles, attitudes and behaviors, has been launched.
The project titled: “Generating Income and Opportunities for Women to Improve Nutrition in Ghana” (GROWING) aims to improve the nutritional and financial security of women, youth and young children.
The four-year, eight-month project is being implemented in Saboba District and Gushegu Municipality in Northern Region, North Gonja District and West Gonja Municipality in Savannah Region, and Chereponi District. and the municipality of East Mamprusi in the North East region.
It is funded by Global Affairs Canada and led by the International Potato Center (CIP), and co-implemented with CARE International Ghana through a strong partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Women in Agricultural Development within the Ministries 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, food system. climate-smart and resilient.
Statistics showed that in the northern belt of the country, the prevalence of vitamin “A” deficiency among children under five is estimated at 30.5%, which is the highest rate of all regions. of the country while the local diet is also deficient in key nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, iron and vitamin B12.
Statistics also showed that one in five children in the country suffer from stunting and 24% of all deaths of children under five are associated with malnutrition.
Mr. Temesgen said the agricultural component of the project would promote roots and leaves of orange-fleshed sweet potato, papaya, moringa leaves, amaranth leaves and a legume (soya or groundnut) to improve the condition. nutrition of beneficiaries.
He said: “We also intend to have a small livestock intervention which we have proven to be acceptable. The community nutrition component will build on the successful experience of the Growing Futures clubs which meet monthly for a period of nine months.
Miss Shauna Flanagan, Deputy Director (Analysis and Planning), High Commission of Canada to Ghana, recounted the Canadian government’s long history of support for improving livelihoods in Ghana, adding that the GROWING project would build on gains made over the years.
She said the project will truly empower beneficiaries to ensure their well-being and support their communities.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, said that the project was undoubtedly very important in the northern part of the country in particular and in the country as a whole as it would also contribute to the successful implementation of some of the government’s flagship projects in the region.
Miss Veronica Quartey, Deputy Director of Nutrition at GHS, welcomed the project saying it would help preserve the gains made over the years.
Ewuche Azara, who represented the Savannah Area Queen Mothers Association, expressed the need to transform gender relations, social structures and improve women’s financial security to empower them, adding “The GROWING Project provides us with an important entry point to advance gender transformation.”