Members of a village savings and loans association group listen to a facilitator discuss effective breastfeeding practices
Credit: Clement Boateng/JSI

Women’s access to financial resources plays a critical role in ensuring access to quality nutritious diets all year round. Even with an improved knowledge of good feeding practices, Ghanaian mothers in low-income households find it difficult to implement most of the nutrition advice they receive from health workers and through other avenues.

"At our meetings, they tell us to prepare nutritious meals for our children and families so that we can live healthily, but it is difficult to do so if we do not have money to buy the necessary food ingredients, especially those that we cannot get from our farms," said Alimatu Abu, a member of the Achonanga mother-to-mother support group in Ghana’s Sissala West District.

Alimatu mentioned she has started to see an improvement in her situation since her group embraced the village savings and loans association (VSLA) concept introduced by USAID Advancing Nutrition, the Agency's flagship multi-sectoral nutrition project. The VSLA promotes savings among its group members and allows them to borrow at a lower interest rate compared to financial institutions—for food, medicine, and other needs.