Friday, July 5, 2013

KOICA-UNICEF To Address Health, Education Problems In The North

Mr. Kwang-Geol in handshake with Ms. Ngogi

A joint project by Korea International Cooperation Agency [KOICA] and the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] would soon be implemented in some selected districts in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana to address problems in the areas of education and health. 
A total amount of 4,500,000 United States dollars has been allocated by KOICA for the implementation of the project dubbed: Human Development through Life Cycle Approach”. It was developed by UNICEF to improve access to better health and education services depending on the life cycle in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana. 

The project, to be executed within a time frame of three years (2013-2015), aimed at breaking the vicious cycle of poverty that creates and recreates undernourished infants, poorly educated young children, marginalized adolescents, and unsafe and young motherhood in 6 districts within the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana. 

Beneficiary districts are among the most deprived in terms of quality education. The program would work to increase access to pre-school and primary education, improve teaching and learning and equip adolescent students with appropriate life skills including HIV prevention and reproductive health. 

“We expect the project to improve health and education services in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana”, a news released copied to The Daily Dispatch quoted Cho Kwang-Geol, Resident Representative of KOICA Ghana Office as saying during a brief ceremony to mark the signing agreement. 

“Around 1950s, Korea’s living standard was below that of Ghana. However, Korea has transformed into a donor from one of the poorest countries. Furthermore, the Korean Government held the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in Busan December, 2011. This was followed by the Accra Agenda for Action of the Third High Level forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-3) which was held in Accra, Ghana September, 2008” he said. 

Mr. Kwang-Geol said:“In the lapse of forty years, we hope to share Korea’s development experience with international society and try to make our efforts diversified with multilateral cooperation. For this, we cooperate with international organizations including UNICEF.” 

According to him, Korea hoped to contribute to the socio-economic development of Ghana and its aim to become a middle-income country. In this sense, KOICA he explained was focusing on education, health and energy sectors and also deemed the opportunity as means to strengthen partnership with UNICEF as well as collaboration with the UN agency to achieve common goals. 

Ms. Namondo Ngongi, the Country Representative of UNICEF in Ghana on her part also said the program was based on a “life cycle approach” that aimed at creating a positive cycle through which each generation could realize a significant leap in the situation of children and achieve sustained progress in human development. 

Six districts in Northern and Upper East Regions would benefit from the program that was also supported by the Government of Ghana. They were chosen because their neonatal mortality and education outcomes lagged behind the rest of the country. 

“This funding will support the Government of Ghana in providing the best possible start for young children in their birth and early years, a good quality basic education for every child, and an enabling environment for adolescents as they develop their capacities,” Ms. Namondo Ngongi said in the joint news release. 

“Deaths of new borns in their first 30 days of life contribute to more than forty percent of under-five mortality and sixty per cent of infant mortality. Over the last decade, we are seeing a stagnation on reduction of neonatal mortality. Thus, new born healthcare needs to be prioritized to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for decreasing child and maternal deaths in Ghana”, she emphasised.  

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