The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection signed a collaboration agreement on August 9 at the Ministry. U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert P. Jackson, Minster of Gender, Children and Social Protection Nana Oye Lithur, and USAID/Ghana Mission Director Andrew Karas were present at the signing, which marks the next phase in their partnership to protect Ghana’s most vulnerable children.
Through the USAID Displaced Children and Orphans Fund, USAID will be providing $3 million to support the Ministry and the Government of Ghana’s Child Care Reform Initiatives. Since 2006, the Care Reform Initiative has been central to protecting the country’s most deprived. The funding will support the Ministry to improve the quality of social work in Ghana. Formal gatekeeping structures will be developed to prevent the unnecessary admission and re-admission of children into orphanages and will strengthen the quality of child protection services at the community level, linking directly with the District Social Welfare Offices. A national child care reform monitoring and evaluation system will be developed so standards for orphanages are enforced.
USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphans Fund provides financial and technical assistance for the care and protection of vulnerable children, particularly those who are outside of family care or are at risk of losing family care and protection. USAID has given particular attention to children in institutional care, on the street, or with disabilities.
“We will work alongside the Ministry so they can better protect Ghana’s most vulnerable,” said Ambassador Jackson at the signing ceremony. “The partnership we are celebrating today will ensure that Ghana’s future movers and shakers have the chance to thrive.”
The signing of this agreement furthers the goals of USAID’s integrated Health, Population, and Nutrition Program, which works to improve the health and well-being of Ghanaians, particularly its most vulnerable populations. USAID partners with the Government of Ghana to achieve these goals, build leadership, improve governance, and build capacity in the health sector.