The European Union (EU) has pledged an additional EUR 10 million to Ghana to support the most vulnerable populations facing an escalating global food security crisis exacerbated by Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.
Announcing the new Special Measure in Accra, the Deputy Head of the European Union Mission to Ghana, Mr. Pieter Smidt Van Gelder said “These new funds will support families to grow crops, generate income and improve food availability on local markets. The EU support will also make Ghanaian farmers more resilient to crisis, by promoting sustainable food production and strengthening integration into national and regional food value chains.”
The allocation will support the sustainable development of a number of agribusiness value chains, including shea, soybean, beekeeping, and vegetables. This will complement efforts by the Ghanaian government to mitigate further increases in poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in vulnerable areas affected by high prices of food, fertilizer, and fuel.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, commented: “With this Special Measure we will strengthen our support to address our food security needs, while contributing to sustainable and resilient food systems.”
Hon. Abena Osei Asare, Deputy Minister for Finance intimated that “We as a country have been faced with a number of challenges in recent times. The COVID-19 pandemic and lately Russia – Ukraine war have particularly had worrying effects on Ghana’s economy. The conflict has resulted in rapid increase in the prices of food, fuel and fertilizer, with its attendant consequences on the country’s foreign exchange reserves used to purchase commodities imported for public consumption as well as inputs for industries. Food inflation continues to contribute highly to overall inflation. Ghana’s inflation for September 2022 stood at 37.2% with food inflation contributing largely at 37.8%”.
The support will focus on the Northern part of Ghana with the following outcomes:
- More economically sustainable and inclusive food systems
- Reinforced environmental sustainability of food systems
- Enhanced social sustainability and gender responsiveness of food systems (incl. Food and nutrition security) and
- Improved governance and institutional sustainability of food systems
A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) indicates that the global food, fuel, and fertiliser crisis linked to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has caused GDP and employment in Ghana to contract. These GDP and employment losses largely originate from Ghana’s agri-food system, both on-farm (primary agriculture) and off-farm (food processing, food trade and transport, and food services). Employment losses are especially large in the off-farm environment (-2.6%), with losses concentrated in the food processing and food trade and transport sectors.
Considering that Ghana’s food production has traditionally been well integrated with local, regional, and global markets, these losses will severely impact local and regional markets in a highly food insecure region, also affected by climate change and erratic rain falls. For example, nominal maize prices in Accra rose 65% between September 2021 and May 2022.
Overall, these price shocks have resulted in a decline in consumption for all households in Ghana, especially affecting lower income households. This is also leading to greater poverty, particularly in rural areas.
This current EUR10m allocation to Ghana represents the commitment of the EU and Member States Team Europe approach to mobilizing political, policy and financial means to safeguard food security today while transitioning to more resilient food systems tomorrow.
Source: Ministry of Finance