Some traditional authorities, representatives of civil society organisations and women groups in the Northern Region have called for a dedicated source of funding for social protection initiatives to increase and sustain them for better results.
They argued that the inadequate level of funding for social protection initiatives led to ineffective delivery of such initiatives, which affected the living conditions of the people, especially the poor and vulnerable.
They were speaking at a meeting in Tamale to solicit views, ideas and concerns of citizens especially women and adolescent girls on key social protection priorities the country should focus on.
The meeting was organised by SEND GHANA with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund as part of the latter’s Civil Society Organisations Platform on Social Accountability project, which sought to amongst others help to develop a framework on social protection to monitor the sector.
Inputs collated during the meeting will be used to develop a “citizens’ manifesto”, which would be used to influence the manifestos of key political parties in the country to ensure that they implement them when they assume power.
The country implements a number of social protection initiatives including; National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), and School Feeding Programme to amongst others bring relief to the destitute.
However, inadequate funding of such initiatives especially NHIS and LEAP affects their effective delivery as many health facilities regularly refer most patients to private pharmacies to buy drugs, and delays in payment of grants to beneficiaries respectively hence the call for a dedicated source of funding to sustain them.
Others also called for subsidisation of tertiary education to make it affordable to all qualified students in the country.
Shiya-Raana Amidu Iddrisu, Chief of Janga in the West Mamprusi Municipality argued that it was not fair for one to enjoy free education at the second cycle level and would not be able to acquire tertiary education because of high school fees hence the need to subsidise tertiary education.
Mr Anas Shiraz, Executive Director of Africa Centre for Inclusive Development said CHPS Compounds should be allowed to administer critical drugs because many people in the rural communities depended on them for health care delivery.
Some of them also suggested that NHIS should cover expensive drugs such that the poor, who suffered ailments that required such drugs, would have access to quality health care.
Mr Mumuni Mohammed, Northern Regional Programme Manager of SEND GHANA, said the issues raised during the forum would be harmonised with others from similar fora to be held across the country to compile the citizens’ manifesto on social protection delivery to be submitted to the political parties.