World Bank, poverty, village infrastructure projects


This paper has come about as a result of the researcher’s interest in rural development. One of the authors’ was involved in the implementation stage of the Village Infrastructure Project as assistant project co-ordinator in one of the big districts in Ghana. This paper attempts to analyse the role of the World Bank in reducing poverty in Ghana with respect to Village Infrastructure Projects which started in 1998 and ended in 2003. The total cost of the project was estimated as $60million where communities were encouraged to apply for concessionary funding for rural infrastructure in four key areas namely; Water, Transport, Post harvest Facilities and Capacity Building. Poverty reduction efforts have bedevilled Ghana since independence in 1957. This is due to dramatic reversals in economic and social development. With these problems coupled with debt burden, there has been the need for the government to look elsewhere to support her budget and developmental needs. World Bank, one of the foreign financiers has supported Ghana in various ways such as the Structural Adjustment Programme which many economic commentators regarded it as a failure. Village Infrastructure Projects was meant to augment government efforts to reduce poverty and increase the quality of life in the rural communities. The programme was also meant to be participatory and demand driven. This paper will look at poverty in general and measurement, Village Infrastructure Projects, gains and problems ass

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