Nutrition sensitivity of the 2014 budget statement of Republic of Ghana

Type Conference Paper - Africa Nutritional Epidemiology Conference (ANEC VI) was held at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Accra on 20–25 July 2014
Title Nutrition sensitivity of the 2014 budget statement of Republic of Ghana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Ghana’s Constitution and several international treaties she has ratified demonstrate support
for fundamental human rights to nutrition and freedom from hunger. However, it is unknown
how this support is being translated into investment in nutrition. National budgets
are important vehicles through which governments communicate intent to address pertinent
national challenges. The present paper assesses the nutrition sensitivity of Ghana’s budget
statement for the year ending 31 December 2014. We perused the budget in its entirety,
examining allocations to various sectors with the goal of identifying support for direct nutrition
interventions. We examined allocations to various sectors as per cent of gross domestic
product (GDP). The review shows that the total revenue and grants for the 2014 fiscal
year is Ghana Cedis (GH¢) 26 001·9 million (25 % of GDP). The total expenditure for the
same period is estimated at GH¢34 956·8 million (33·1 % of GDP). The health sector is allocated
GH¢3 353 707 814 (3·8 % of GDP). As of 28 October 2014, the Bank of Ghana’s
Official Exchange Rate was US$1 = GH¢3·20. It is one of the key sectors whose interventions
directly or indirectly impact on nutrition. However, the proportion of the national budget
that goes to direct nutrition interventions is not evident in the budget. Nutrition is
embedded in other budget lines. Allocations to relevant nutrition-sensitive sectors are very
low (<0·5 % of GDP). We conclude that Ghana’s 2014 budget statement pays scant attention
to nutrition. By embedding nutrition in other budget lines, Ghana runs the risk of perpetually
rolling out national spending actions insensitive to nutrition.

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