Fourteen communities are to benefit from a GH₵360,000 grant through the Australian Government’s Direct Aid Programme aimed at assisting beneficiaries to alleviate poverty.
The communities are expected to use the funds to roll out projects in areas including sanitation facilities, computer education for girls, hospital equipment, poultry farming, skills training, recycling, solar electrification and a violent-free election campaign for Election 2012.
Presenting the cheques to representatives of beneficiary communities at a ceremony organised by the Australian High Commission in Accra on Thursday, Mr William Williams, Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, expressed the hope that the projects would further assist to improve access to health, education, sanitation in those communities and economically empower them to be self-reliant.
He observed that Ghana and Australia had long history of strong bilateral relations, adding since 2004, Australia had provided close to GH₵1.9 million directly to communities in West Africa to support poverty alleviation activities with the majority of the projects coming to Ghana.
Mr Williams said “Support for community projects are part of Australia’s commitment to broadening and deepening engagement with Africa across a full spectrum of issues including enhanced trade and commercial investment strengthened diplomatic links and increased development assistance.”
He added that between 2011 and 2012, Australia had increased her development assistance to Africa by a further 90 million dollars bringing her total support to 291.3 million dollars.
The projects included Solar Electricity Training Programme and electrification to be carried out by a Non-Governmental Organisation in Wa and in Sirigu in Upper West and East regions.
Others are Information Technology Equipment for the Jirapa Girls Senior High School in Upper West Region, construction of a three-unit classroom block at Nsawam in the Eastern Region and sports equipment for the Ghana Blind Union in Accra.
The rest are construction of a KVIP toilet with hand washing facility for the Kwame Danso Senior High School in the Brong Ahafo Region, hospital equipment for health facility in the Volta Region, livelihood skills training on poultry farming in the Western Region, support to a violent free Election 2012 campaign in the Upper West Region and environmental film festival for children in Accra.
Other special projects earmarked to be rolled out in Accra include renovation of the James Town Theatre for public health and other outreach activities, music studio equipment for children reception centre and production of re-usable shopping bags and plastics awareness campaign.
The Commission has also committed to fund a children’s disability reception centre in the Northern Region.
The representatives expressed gratitude to the Commissioner and his government for the kind gesture and assistance. GNA