SEND GHANA, as has been the practice, went round the country to collate citizens’ inputs and submitted them to the Ministry of Finance for consideration into the 2021 budget statement and Economic Policy.
These inputs covered various sectors, including Health, Education, Early Childhood Development, Agriculture, Gender, and Social protection.
Highlights of citizens’ demands submitted to the Ministry of Finance are stated below;
– Set aside a dedicated budget to finance Epidemic Preparedness (EP) and the implementation of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), as well as the Ghana Centre for Disease Control. This is necessary to adequately respond to the threat of epidemics such as the ongoing COVID-19 and to ensure equitable and effective health care delivery in times of epi/pandemic outbreaks. Similarly, sustained and increased domestic financing for immunization activities is essential in preventing disease among children, and a sure way of enabling Ghana to progressively and fully finance its immunization services after Gavi support ends in 2027. Again, for effective primary healthcare delivery, especially in rural areas, the government should ensure timely reimbursement of NHIS claims to service providers and facilities.
– To improve access and provide quality free and compulsory primary education for children, the government through the Ministry of Finance needs to prioritize budget allocation for the costed implementation plan for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Policy Framework. Budgetary priority should focus on the six (6) Action Areas (Effective Planning and Management; Curriculum Development and Implementation; Competent In/Pre-Service Teachers and Non-Professionals; Family and Community Engagement; Infrastructure; Monitoring, Regulation, and Quality Assurance).
– To increase smallholder farmers, especially women’s access to a tractor and other agricultural services, the government should speed up the establishment of the Agriculture Mechanization Service Centres (AMSEC) in all the MMDAs. The government should further institute a deliberate mechanism that targets women and vulnerable groups such as PWDs and LEAP beneficiaries for the Planting for Food and Jobs Program while promoting their easy access to inputs.
– Allocate significant funding to support the implementation of the Integrated Social Services (ISS) program and establish an inter-sectoral body to oversee its successful implementation for effective delivery of child protection and welfare programs. To achieve this, the institution of appropriate legal provisions supported by good leadership is required to establish and fund a body that seeks to strengthen intersectoral coordination between district-level institutions (GHS, DSWCD, GES, DOVSU) and integrate other support services for effective delivery of child protection welfare programs.
– Provide funding for holistic implementation of the Inclusive Education policy. ensure that the educational needs of street children, children with disabilities, special needs are adequately met.
To improve the nutritional status of school the quality of meals served under the Ghana school feeding program needs to This can be guaranteed by increasing the amount from GHC 1 per day for a plate to GHC 2.50. Lastly, the government should consider making sanitary pads accessible by reducing the cost (elimination of tax) and providing viable alternatives.
It is the hope of SEND GHANA and its partners (Oxfam, USAID, UNICEF,
Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC), International Budget (IBP), Global Health Advocacy Incubator) that these inputs would be given the consideration by the government and we look forward to their reflection on the budget statement.
Country Director, SEND GHANA