Australian High Commissioner launches Direct Aid Programme

Andrew Barnes – Australian High Commissioner to Ghana

Mr Andrew Barnes, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, on Tuesday launched the 2019/20 Direct Aid Programme (DAP), a small grants programme, funded from Australia’s aid budget.

Mr Barnes said this year; the programme will support ten projects in Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Mali and Sierra Leone; adding that six of the projects were located in Ghana.

“We look forward to working with you on these projects and to achieving many positive outcomes together for the benefit of targeted communities and the countless individuals who are counting on us,” he said.

He noted that about 400,000 Australian Dollars had been voted for the 2019/20 DAP project, of which about 300,000 Australian Dollars was going to Ghana.

Some ongoing DAP projects in Ghana include the construction of a public place of convenience for cured lepers in Ho, the renovation of the VIP Ward at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital and the provision of mechanised boreholes in Bawku.

Mr Barnes said the High Commission was very pleased that through the DAP, they were able to support the provision of many life-transforming interventions for some of society’s most vulnerable people – rural communities, children, women and people with disabilities.

Mr Barnes said since the commencement of the DAP in 2004, the collection of success stories and transformed lives continue to grow across their nine countries of accreditation in West Africa.

“We funded and supported the delivery of quality projects that have empowered people, and brought hope and smiles to many,” he said.

Dr Yaw Arthur of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, who lauded the Australian Government for coming to their aid, noted that the ongoing refurbishment of the VIP Ward of the Hospital, when completed, would go a long way to ensure that patients’ therapeutic expectations would be meet.

He said the High Commission’s record of success in supporting Australia’s aid programme could be largely attributed to the strong partnership they share with local organisations.

DAP has the flexibility to work with local communities in developing countries on projects that reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development consistent with Australia’s national interest.

The programme aims to advance development outcomes through projects primarily focused on practical and tangible results and this may include projects, which support good governance, human rights and those with a strong advocacy component.

It cover a range of sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, environmental protection, women’s empowerment and gender equality, supporting people with disabilities, economic livelihoods, food security and human rights.

DAP projects engage a wide range of partners including community groups, non-government organisations, educational institutions and local governments.

The Australian High Commission no longer accepts unsolicited applications or runs an open round for the Direct Aid Programme, but works with trusted partners to deliver developmental and/or humanitarian outcomes for local communities in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Source: GNA

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