International Press Centre, Accra, October 23 – The President of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD), Mr Yaw Ofori Debrah, has decried the abuse of the 2% of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) that is meant for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
— Inform Ghana (@InformGhana) October 23, 2014
Mr Debrah, was speaking at a press conference held by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) under the theme, ‘Promoting the rights of the marginalised: A case of the abuse of the Common Fund Allocation to Persons with Disability.’
Challenges the president of the Federation pointed out included the withholding of information about the funds to the disability fund management committees, the use of the fund without the knowledge of the district PWD organisations, the reluctance of some parents and guardians to educate their disabled wards with their own money but with the funds, the non-release of the statutory funds by the government, the usurping of the use of the funds by the assemblies, and to a smaller extent, the mismanagement of the funds by some members of PWD organisations.
The president also used the occasion to express his gratitude to the MFWA and to the media for supporting their cause. He also gave examples of some of the benefits PWDs have obtained from the fund, including business and education financing. He observed that apart from South Africa, Ghana was the only other African country he knew of with a specific funding policy for PWDs.
He also used the occasion to explain the hardships that PWDs endure. He said that many of them had had to result to begging since they had no other source of income or support. They have also been largely excluded from matters of policy. He concluded by calling on government to co-operate with GFD to monitor the disbursement of the funds.
Mr Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the MFWA, expressed his shock that funds as little as 2% of the DACF were not being regularly made available to PWDs. He called for all stakeholders to do their best to ensure the regular disbursements of these funds.