Nine Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have formed an alliance to implement US$100,000 (COVID-19) response project aimed at scaling up measures to control community spread of the disease in the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo Regions.
The CSOs have set up a fund accordingly to make the project implementation successful.
Dubbed “COVID-19 Vulnerable Communities Support (CVCS) Project”, it will support CSOs’ collaborative efforts around COVID-19 and stimulate creative interventions that promote resilience within vulnerable communities.
The implementing CSOs are the Global Media Foundation (GLOMeF), World Evangelical Alliance Business Coalition Ghana (WEA), Citizens Watch Ghana (CWG), and the Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (IWEN).
Others include the West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF), Indigenous Youth Alliance Ghana (IYAG), Ahafo Network of NGOs, Sunyani Municipal CSOs Platform on SDGs, and Global Coalition on Infectious Diseases.
Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Chief Executive Officer of GLOMeF, and lead implementer, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, said the project, to be launched on June 15, would identify and find solutions to challenges communities were facing in the wake of COVID-19.
Under the project opportunities would be opened up for community-based organisations, women and youth networks to apply for small grants to scale-up COVID-19 awareness and precautionary measures, supporting vulnerable households as well as vigorously combating discrimination and stigmatization of COVID-19.
It targets individuals and organisations implementing direct interventions and community-led mobilization to minimize the spread of the virus and building resilience in vulnerable communities.
Mr. Ahenu emphasised that effective prevention as well as rehabilitation interventions ought to be strengthened in vulnerable communities to address post-COVID-19 emergencies.
He indicated that urban slums and affected mining settlements and communities had a dense population and experienced acute poverty, which made social distancing and best hygiene protocols difficult to practice.
“The consequences of an outbreak in these communities can be devastating with the loss of jobs and income, malnutrition and deteriorating health conditions and will leave the entire population more vulnerable”.
The project, Mr. Ahenu explained had four major thematic components – raising awareness: focus on media, community health workers, and volunteer training to scale up campaigns and tackle misinformation, providing access to basic sanitary supplies with a focus on the provision of handwashing equipment and community toilets.
It further seeks to mitigate educational disruption with a focus on supporting parents and guardians to encourage their children to do distance learning practices and promoting community resilience to the COVID-19 as well.
Mr. Ahenu called for support from the District and Municipal Assemblies, development partners and donors towards successful implementation of the project and called on individuals, corporate organisations and institutions as well as Churches to donate to the fund.