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Rural communities in four regions currently affected by environmental damage and pollution associated with destructive artisanal mining and logging practices are to benefit from a scale up of the Ghana Forest Investment Program.

An additional financing of $19.39 million was approved by the World Bank Board of Executives Directors. It is based on two tranches of a grant and loan of $9.89 million for Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining in Forest Landscapes and $9.50 million.

This will help build private sector engagement in plantation activities in the Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions. The additional financing operation is fully consistent with the World Bank Group’s goals to end extreme poverty. It is also to promote shared prosperity with environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability.

The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Henry Kerali, in a statement said the programme is aligned with the recent Systematic Country Diagnostic which prioritised the need for taking immediate measures, including implementing the ‘Cocoa Forest Mosaic Landscape’ and control and mitigation of artisanal mining, to stop deforestation and degradation.

The Ghana Forest Investment Program is already implementing activities focusing on agricultural drivers of deforestation by working with cocoa farmers and communities to rehabilitate and protect forest reserves.

The additional financing operation aims at complementing these activities by piloting approaches to and benefits of reclamation of mining sites, which will reduce erosion currently polluting public water courses.

Under the original project, women have significantly engaged and benefited from project activities, particularly in enrichment planting and plant nurseries. This will continue and be further enhanced under this additional financing operation.

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