Like most sub-Saharan African countries, Ghana is counted among the group of low income countries, with a per capita income of $390. The country relies considerably on external support to finance its developmental programs. Persistent increases in domestic debt, limited internal revenue mobilization, high interest rates, depreciation of the cedi and dwindling foreign exchange reserves resulted in stagnant economic growth during the 1990s.
The incidence of poverty is high in rural areas, especially in the rural savannah. The contribution of the rural population to the incidence of poverty is 85.6 percent. Out of the seven geographical divisions or groupings under Ghana Living Standards, the rural savannah alone contributed as much as 45.5 percent to national poverty.
While overall poverty levels have decreased, it was noted that this progress was uneven. Some geographical areas and vulnerable groups have benefited marginally from the poverty reduction which has occurred at a national level in the country. Against this background the government opted for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in 2002 to benefit from debt relief from multilateral donors and to channel the savings from servicing into poverty reduction programs.
Heifer's Work in Ghana
Heifer International’s Ghana program was established in the late 1990s. Since its beginnings, Heifer Ghana has assisted more than 37,000 families directly and through Heifer’s Passing on
the Gift process. The program has since implemented 37 projects with resource-constrained communities in 7 out of the 10 regions of Ghana. About 60% of the beneficiaries of these projects have been women.
Heifer is the only NGO in Ghana focusing on livestock production for poverty reduction. Projects operate in the Central Gonja, Tolon- Kumbungu and Tuna Sawla Kalba districts addressing food security and women and youth empowerment for 15,000 households.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
sustainable agricultural production: Livestock and micro-livestock management; environmental management; training in agroforestry and aquaculture
Post-harvest management and processing: Agribusiness
market development: Accessing local markets
Technology: Small enterprise development; eco-tourism
Nutrition: Training in nutrition and HIV/AIDS prevention; promoting food security
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.