Stakeholders advocate for the use of Assemblies Common funds to support PwDs

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In Tamale, a stakeholders’ forum was organized to highlight the need for the government to adopt and implement revised District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) management guidelines to support persons living with disabilities (PwDs).

The forum, which was attended by representatives from the Department of Social Welfare in the Northern Region and PwDs, was aimed at sensitizing participants about the Disability Fund’s disbursement and management guidelines and the importance of the government ensuring swift implementation.

According to Mr Matthew Kodom, Research Committee Chairperson of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFDO), the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations partnered with UKaid in 2010 to develop guidelines for the administration of the DACF and address the challenges associated with its disbursement.

He pointed out that one of the major challenges facing the DACF disability fund disbursement, management, and utilization was the lack of transparency and poor accountability, stating that some of the committees complained that MMDAs do not inform them or provide any documents indicating the number of funds received from the DACF administrator.

Mr Kodom further stressed that the committee urged the government to ensure that PwDs are part of the signatories to the bank to ensure transparency, which is currently against the guidelines and MMDAs’ financial governance practices.

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He noted that the new guidelines would minimize political interference in the disbursement of funds and help address the incidence of multiple beneficiaries.

Mrs Vivian Sarpomaa Fiscian, the Leadership and Governance Advisor of UKaid, Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, highlighted that the selection and vetting processes were key functional components of the guidelines for disbursing and managing the DACF for PwDs.

Therefore, adopting the revised guidelines would provide a standardized criterion for beneficiary selection.

She also noted that the committee’s findings on MMDAs suggested that the threshold for beneficiaries was determined by the District Fund Management Committee, which allowed for a large coverage of PwDs.

As a result, the implementation of the new guidelines is necessary to help address the incidence of disparities in the threshold.

Mrs Abubakari Sahadatu Nima, Northern Regional President of the GFDO, called for the timely release and disbursement of the disability fund to enable beneficiaries to plan their activities. She also urged for more advocacy on the rights and responsibilities of PwDs to minimize discrimination.

Mr Issifu John Joseph, Kpandai District Director of Social Welfare, praised the partners for organizing the sensitization forum and called on other NGOs to complement government’s efforts to address the challenges confronting PwDs in the country.

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