The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to protect Ghana’s most vulnerable children.
The USAID would, under the partnership agreement, support the strengthening of Ghana’s Care Reforms under the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) with three million dollars for five years.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, signed the agreement for Ghana, while Mr. Robert Jackson, US Ambassador to Ghana, signed for the US government.
Mr. Jackson said the MoU marked the next phase in the US partnership to protect vulnerable children in Ghana and would be funded through the USAID Displaced Children and Orphans Fund.
The funding, he explained, would support the sector Ministry to improve upon the quality of social work in Ghana.
“Formal gate keeping structures would be developed to prevent the unnecessary admission and re-admission of children into orphanage homes, and will strengthen the quality of child care at the community level, linking directly with district social welfare officers,” he said.
Mr. Jackson stated that a partnership would also lead to the development of a national child care reform monitoring and evaluation system to ensure that standards for orphanages are enforced.
He was positive that the partnership would ensure that Ghana’s future leaders have the chance to thrive.
The ambassador lauded the Ministry for its consistent quest to improve lives, saying “I look forward to working with you to stamp our illegal orphanages, end modern-day child slavery and improve child health and nutrition.”
Nana Oye Lithur for her part, said the five-year funding support would make it possible for the DSW to determine and prioritise its yearly programmes.
“The funding over the period, will also contribute towards the creation of a more effective and protective social welfare system and position the DSW to activate other alternative care interventions that promote healthy development of children, strong families and safe communities,” she said.
She stated that the Ministry had established a central adoption authority which would regulate inter-country adoptions and ensure that adoptions were conducted in a manner that promotes the wellbeing and interest of the child.
Mrs. Lithur said her Ministry would soon develop an NGO policy which will lead to the enactment of a legal and regulatory framework for Ghana on the establishment and running of NGOs.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey