Fifteen local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Northern, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West and North East Regions have received a grant of €60,000 from the European Union (EU) through its funding window called Civil Society Organizations in Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development (CSO-RISE).

Each organisation received about €4,000 after a vigorous and vetting process to undertake certain development projects in their respective districts.

The project which is being implemented by the ActionAid Ghana and Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud (CISS) is to promote sustainable agriculture, social protection, decent work in the agricultural sector as well as to increase income among rural households.

Speaking at the ceremony in Tamale, Head of Programmes, Campaigns and Innovation of ActionAid Ghana, John Nkaw said the provision of financial assistance to local CSOs is to strengthen them to become drivers of innovation in research-based, climate-resilient, sustainable agricultural-related social enterprises and responsive social protection.

“With these small grants, I sincerely hope that the beneficiary CSOs will be able to scale up their activities and intensify their campaigns for climate-resilient agriculture and access to social protection for vulnerable groups of people,” He said.

Mr Nkaw added that improving access to social protection for vulnerable people has become very crucial in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This pandemic has exposed the inadequacies in our social protection structures even though a repurposing of some project funds to respond to the pandemic in 2020 was helpful,” he said.

According to him, ActionAid Ghana is committed to ensuring the success of the project and urged the beneficiary CSOs to make good use of the fund.

The country’s representative for CISS, Mauro Bartolomeo on his part said the dramatic effects of climate change coupled with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic means women face multiple challenges and one of the ways to empower women is to scale up female entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment in agribusiness.

This, he said, will encourage their efforts at protecting the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources.

Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu in a speech read on his behalf indicated that the region welcomes projects of this nature that seek to reduce poverty through economic development, adoption of environmentally sustainable agriculture and addressing issues of social protection.

“This has come at an opportune time when poverty among women and children in the Region is worsening with less attention been paid to Social-Protection and of course the impact of Climate Change is biting harder,” Alhaji Shani said.