Ghana to pass social protection law – Gender Ministry

By D.I.
Laary, GNA

Wa, Sept 22, GNA – The Ministry of Gender,
Children and Social Protection has outlined preparations by the government to
pass Social Protection law by 2019 to facilitate inclusive development and
reduce poverty.

It said it was working hard to develop and fine-tune
the Social Protection Bill for submission to Cabinet.

Dr. Afisah Zakariah, the Chief Director said
“we are working assiduously to ensure the passage of social protection law by
the year 2019”.

She made this known at a meeting with
Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) in the Upper West Regional capital, Wa.

It was held under the theme “Mainstreaming
social protection into the activities and policies of FBOs in Ghana”.

She said “currently, a nationwide
stakeholders’ consultation is being planned to solicit input from all and
sundry to developing and finalizing the Social Protection Bill for onward
submission to cabinet for approval”.

The Ministry’s collaboration on mainstreaming
social protection into the policies, activities and plans of FBOs was going to
help the nation to achieve its poverty reduction agenda to ensure inclusive
national development.

“My ministry is doing a lot, putting up
systems to guarantee effective and efficient coordination in the implementation
of social protection programmes in Ghana”.

These included the Ghana National Household
Registry – seeking to provide the primary mechanism for targeting beneficiaries
for all social protection programmes in the country.

With support from the World Bank a “Helpline
of Hope Call Centre” had been established to improve and properly manage
grievances associated with the various social protection interventions.

Citizens or beneficiaries benefitting from any
social protection programme unhappy about anything could lodge complaint and
expect timely, tracked and effective resolution of whatever their concern was.

The centre also allows citizens requiring
specific social and economic support to call for any form of assistance be it
human trafficking, domestic violence, rape, child labour, child and early
marriage, mental and psychological issues, special financial assistance or
employment.

“We are very enthusiastic that the FBOs and
traditional authorities would take advantage of the help of hope system and
provide the needed support to their communities” Dr Afisah said.

Ghana, she added, was implementing a raft of
social interventions targeted at reducing poverty and vulnerability and urged
stakeholders to give strong backing to these for speedy national growth.

Some of the interventions are the Livelihood
Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),
School Feeding Programme, Labour intensive public works, Education Capitation
Grant, Planting for Food and Jobs and Free Senior High School.

Globally, Dr Afisah noted that, social
protection had proven to be a reliable tool for addressing poverty,
vulnerability and exclusion.

Dr Rita Owusu Amankwah, the Director of Social
Protection at the Ministry, said the draft bill was being worked on together
with the Attorney General’s Department for fine-tuning.

She urged FBOs to incorporate social
protection issues into their activities to help bring down vulnerability and
improve the quality of life of the people.

The Reverend Cyril K. Fayose, General
Secretary of the Christian Council, said “to be called upon to address matters
of social protection speaks eloquently of the recognition and appreciation by
government of the critical role religion and our traditional values in
sustainable development and in our quest to leave a better future for the next
generation”.

GNA

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