Accra, Nov. 30, GNA – The Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an international non-profit humanitarian aid organisation had celebrated its 75th anniversary worldwide and 60 years of service and life transformation in Ghana.
The life transformation activities focused on four key thematic areas – Health, Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, and Microfinance.
Mr Kris H. Ozar, the Country Representative of CRS Ghana, said the Organisation works throughout the country, but was currently focused in the three Regions of the North.
He said their maternal, neonatal and child survival work had ensured that community members adopted healthy behaviours, sought for optimal health and health care workers delivered quality services per national guidelines.
He said: “The current programming is reaching 275,000 beneficiaries and ensuring that 19,436 people regularly consume nutritious foods”.
Mr Ozar noted that, CRS water and sanitation programme was reaching 152,000 beneficiaries and 140 schools and 36 communities.
The CRS pathway to prosperity was focusing on value chain development and natural resource management.
He said as part of its celebration, it was rolling out new strategy entitled, “In Their Hands”.
The Country Representative explained that the new strategy was aligned with their vision for a world without poverty, injustice, and violence, and a world where humankind prospers in harmony with their natural environment.
“A world where the most vulnerable are protected, where all can reach their full human potential and where just and peaceful societies create the conditions needed for human flourishing,” he said.
Mrs Jennifer Overton, the West African Regional Director, CRS, said building Ghanaian self-reliance was in the heart of CRS principles and their global mission.
She said CRS worked in seven regions around the world and over 100 countries.
She explained that in the West African Region, CRS identified communities and local partners in 12 countries - Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau and Ivory Coast to support.
Mrs Overton said: “We focus on several key areas including eliminating issues of malaria, supporting people on the move including migrants and youth employment through agro-business and financial inclusion”.
Mr Salifu Sa-eed, the Northern Regional Minister, told the Media in an interview that, the inception of the CRS had made significant impact on the socio-economic conditions of the people ranging from education, health, agriculture, and rights based issues to microfinance.
He said; “They have also helped in the awareness creation on the rights of women and children and has indeed brought relief to the people of Northern Ghana”.
However, the Minister said there were still a significant number of people that were languishing in absolute poverty and even struggled to afford a three square meal a day.
“CRS is playing a very key complementary function to government, giving the act that they work in very deprived communities trying to alleviate their poverty,” he said.
Mr Sa-eed advised the public to change its attitude towards managing resources.
He commended CRS for its steps including capacity building of the youth to create employment to enhance the development of the Regions.
Catholic Relief Services was founded by the United States Bishops in 1943 to provide emergency relief to migrant refugees that were fleeing from World War II.
Later, the focus turned to a longer term development that helped people reach the full human potential by improving quality and access to healthcare, education and water.
It also helped to reduce extreme poverty by increasing access to job training, financial services and improving farming techniques and agro-business skills.