ActionAid Ghana decries dwindling donor funding for NGOs

ActionAid Ghana, a non-governmental organization (NGO), has decried dwindling donor funding for NGOs, making it difficult for them to undertake more service delivery projects.

Mr. Abdala Abubakari, Northern Region Programme Manager for the NGO, said that the donor community had indicated that Ghana’s economy had improved and its democratic governance had advanced.

He said these in Bimbilla on Friday at the re-launch of a baseline survey on gender-based patterns in the Nanumba North and South Districts of the Northern Region.

Mr Abubakari indicated that the donors were convinced that Ghana could develop without donor support, and stressed that donor funding had been shifted to human rights-based-approach in which the citizenry was being empowered through NGOs to demand from Government their economic rights.

He said the survey was conducted in 2009 as part of the Stop Violence Against Girls in School   (SVAGS) project coordinated by ActionAid Ghana and Songtaba in collaboration with the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition.

Mr. Abubakari called on the Government to increase funding for infrastructural projects to speed up development of the nation, and to support NGOs to enable them to provide the needs of the people.

He said that the baseline survey was the basis for the introduction of the SVAGS and that another study was being conducted to find out the impact of the project, which ends next year.

Mrs. Lamnatu Adam, Coordinator of Songtaba, who presented the survey, said the findings indicated that most school children, thus seven out of every eight pupils, endorsed corporal punishment as necessary for the training of the child.

She said boys tended to be more vulnerable to physical abuse at school while girls tended to be vulnerable to sexual violence in the community.

Mrs Adam said one out of seven girls said they had experienced “sexual violence in the form of unwanted peeping, touching or comments”.

Mrs. Adam said the study did not cite teachers as perpetrators of sexual violence except for one female pupil, who complained of an attempted rape by a teacher, and stressed that more girls (54.5 per cent) than boys (20 per cent ) were vulnerable to abuse by members of the community members, who abuse them in exchange for goods.

She said the study found that enrolment had generally increased for both sexes, but there was high attrition rate of  girls as they move higher on the educational ladder with socio-economic conditions being the factor affecting girl’s education.

Mrs. Adam recommended among others that teacher’s code of conduct should be reviewed to include criminalization of all  sexual misconduct involving teachers and enforcing regulations prohibiting corporal punishment in schools.

She called on civil society organizations and local community groups to address the problem of violence against girls and build girl-friendly environment.

Source: GNA

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