Highlighted results

11,394 pupils with improved drinking water and sanitary facilities in schools

15,635 hectares of farmland used in a more eco-friendly way

Capacity building in banks and financial institutions to improve access to loans and investments

Additional sources

Factsheet Multiannual Country Strategy Ghana

Factsheet on the efforts of The Netherlands from 2019 to 2022


Overview of projects in Ghana


Ghana is a lower middle-income country with steady economic growth. Peace and stability is maintained throughout the country, making Ghana attractive for foreign trade and investment. In line with these factors and the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ policy, the Netherlands is investing less in development co-operation and more in entrepreneurship, investment and trade. To make the transition to an equal trading relationship, the Netherlands has placed the private sector and trade at the heart of its current development co-operation programmes in Ghana. The objective is to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship that contributes to Ghana’s sustainable and climate-smart growth, and increases opportunities for Dutch businesses.

Results 2019

During the reporting period, the Netherlands achieved good results relating to farmer productivity and private sector investments, specifically in horticulture. In water, sanitation and health, the Netherlands took an approach in which the private sector was supported. This led to more people gaining access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services. The Netherlands contributed significantly to an improved business environment for the agricultural sector. Through successful dialogue and advocacy with the government and stakeholders, a Tree Crops Development Authority was set up, creating a more transparent and predictable regulatory environment. Across all programmes, financial institutions were supported in improving access to finance and reducing the risks of lending in sectors that are key to Ghana’s economic development.

Results by theme

Food security Water

Featured project Ghana

Improving Urban Sanitation in Ghana

The urban sanitation project, financed by the Netherlands and implemented by UNICEF Ghana, is having an impact on the survival and health of children in urban areas in Ghana. Results achieved over the years include: 126,000 people now using improved household toilets; access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for 9,000 children in 30 basic schools; and improved urban sanitation services. Through these interventions, Ghana will have nationally agreed urban sanitation strategies by December 2021 and improved survival and health of urban children in Ghana.

Details about this project on OpenAid

Read more about the urban sanitation project on OpenAid

Food security

The results in context

In Ghana, the Netherlands contributed significantly to sustainable value chains and creating favourable conditions for agribusiness. Throughout the various food security and nutrition programmes, financial institutions were supported in improving access to finance and reducing the risks associated with lending to agribusinesses. In both the cocoa and palm oil value chains, the Netherlands’ efforts helped in securing private sector involvement and investment. Through dialogue and alignment with large-scale government programmes, the Netherlands’ efforts succeeded in showing how private sector involvement can help to sustain operations and support the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.



Number of hectares of farmland used in a more eco-friendly way


15,635 hectares


On track

The number of hectares where farmers used better management practices, decreasing the use of chemicals and improving yields per crop, was measured. Increased yields and efficiency also meant that less land was used, which prevented deforestation.

Sustainability is at the heart of all of the Netherlands’ development efforts in Ghana. This relates to yields, resilient production systems, deforestation, child labour and climate change. In the cocoa and palm oil sectors, resilient production systems promoted sustainability and prevented deforestation.

15,635 hectares

Access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises in agriculture


Six financial institutions


On track

The Netherlands supported a programme for agricultural lending. The objective was to change the mind set of financial institutions, as banks are hesitant to lend to farms and agricultural businesses due to a lack of knowledge about agricultural production cycles and the perceived high risks. The programme resulted in:

Capacity building of six financial institutions to provide loans to agricultural businesses

Improved awareness of risks in lending to agribusinesses

Lending guidelines drafted

Provision of financial guarantees to lenders

Capacity building of government stakeholders

Stakeholder platform established

The result was achieved through knowledge sharing, capacity building and providing guarantees to banks to lower the risk of lending to small and medium-sized enterprises in agriculture.

Access to finance for farms and agricultural businesses is crucial for Ghana’s ongoing agricultural transformation.

Access to finance for farms and agricultural businesses is crucial for Ghana’s ongoing agricultural transformation

Number of family farms with increased productivity and income


42,241 farmers


On track

The Netherlands has employed different approaches to ensure an increase in the productivity of Ghanaian farmers in the cocoa, palm oil and horticulture value chains. Productivity and yields increased significantly through private sector involvement in farm management and the marketing of products. In this model, small and medium-sized enterprises provide tailor-made services to farmers to increase their efficiency and productivity.

We have measured the increase in farms’ yields. Increased yields improve farmer’s opportunities to expand and improve the well-being of farmers and their families. In cocoa, for example, yield levels before the start of the project were 3.5kg/hectare but have now increased to 950kg/hectare of land cultivated.


The results in context

As the Netherlands multi-annual water and sanitation programmes are entering their final phase, the focus is on making results sustainable, sharing knowledge and expertise in the water sector, and on building capacity. The training of environmental health officers, schools and the private sector in municipalities is taking place in order to promote behavioural change, service delivery and effective law enforcement. Access to finance programmes encourages more banking and non-banking financial institutions to provide loans for water and sanitation service delivery.



Increased access to and use of improved sanitation services in communities


141,510 persons


On track

The Netherlands has tried different approaches to increase the number of households in municipalities with improved sanitation facilities. These have included campaigns that promote change in sanitary behaviour, support for law enforcement and policy development, as well as supporting the supply of sanitation services. With an increased number of people with access to toilet facilities, the desired impact is a reduction of the practice of open defecation in Ghana, which is a major health risk. In total, the programme has recorded more than 141,000 people with access to improved sanitation, compared to the target of 126,000.

There has been a drastic increase in access to and use of improved sanitation services in urban communities in Ghana in recent years. This is proof that multiple combined approaches are needed to achieve access to sanitation in urban areas. The combination of sanitation promotion and campaigns that promote change in sanitary behaviour, suitable financing options, law enforcement and the full involvement of the national and municipal authorities contributed to the successful results.


Increased access to and hygienic use of improved WASH services in schools


12,676 children


On track

The Netherlands was able to provide water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure to schools. In total, more than 9,000 children in 30 primary schools now have access to and use improved sanitation services in line with Ghana’s Education Service minimum standards. Capacity building and campaigns to change people’s behaviour were integrated to ensure sustainable operation and maintenance. This is being done as part of a comprehensive WASH in Schools programme targeted at improving school health.

The Netherlands seeks to give children access to water, sanitation and hygiene in schools, to improve their well-being and provide them with a clean and hygienic environment. The impact is better health and increased school attendance. We have achieved this by contributing to access to water, provision of sanitation and hand-washing facilities, and promotion of WASH behavioural change programmes. Following the successful completion of infrastructure works, the focus is now on sustainable operation and maintenance of facilities and the continuation of behavioural change programmes.

number of schoolchildren with access to improved sanitation facilities and WASH services

Improved enabling environment for urban sanitation


National WASH guidelines


On track

Support of The Netherlands has contributed to:

The development of an national urban sanitation model

Government capacity strengthened

Stakeholder platform for learning and sharing urban sanitation

With this intervention, the WASH sector in Ghana is equipped with the right tools and knowledge for urban sanitation. The capacity of local government has been strengthened for effective leadership and co-ordination of basic sanitation services. There has also been better dialogue and advocacy for WASH service delivery.

Improved National Systems and capacity for delivering and sustaining sanitation services in urban areas.

Background and future Ghana

Glimpse into the future

Building on the results achieved, the Netherlands will continue to work with Ghana on private sector development and on creating an attractive environment for entrepreneurship, trade and investment. As Dutch programmes in the areas of food and nutrition security and WASH are entering their final phase, the focus will be on a smooth transition from aid to trade. Continued efforts to involve the private sector are key to success. Beyond aid, the Netherlands will continue to work with Ghana to improve the enabling environment for business, investment and trade. This will be achieved by supporting domestic revenue mobilisation and through policy advocacy and trade promotion. A stronger focus will be placed on climate-smart growth, gender equality and sustainable value chains.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is most likely severe. The extent to which this affects our current and future projects is still unknown.

Additional sources

You can find how the budget was allocated in 2019 and which projects were funded on the budget website.

  1. Visit the website
    Programme budget Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  2. Select financial year 2019
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Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Ghana

Results Water

Download PDF with results for Water in Ghana

Expenditure Embassy by channel


Expenditure Embassy by theme


The budget in this figure is for the year 2019 and does not completely correspond with the results on this page, which have been collected between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019. More information on this can be found on the 'About the results report' page.