The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations is threatening to resort to a demonstration if the government does not clarify new guidelines on the distribution of funds which should benefit its members.
According to the Federation, the new guidelines are making it impossible for a majority of its members – below the ages of 18 and above 60 - to access the funds.
President of the Federation, Yaw Ofori Debrah in an earlier interview cited the Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) for giving the directive orally to DCEs across the country.
The Federation contends that Irene Naa Torshie Addo’s directive has created confusion over the distribution of the companent of the DACF which is supposed to benefit persons living with disability.
“We have never been apprised of this new policy by the Common Fund Administrator, but we hear that she met with some DCEs in the Ashanti Region and told them that persons with disability under 18 and those who are 60 and above are not to benefit from that and these people are to be put on the LEAP (Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty),” Mr Debrah recounted.
He said the Gender and Social Protection Minister, Otiko Djabah whose ministry has supervisory jurisdiction over the LEAP Programme, has, however, said no such decision has been taken by government.
According to him, Ms Djabah explained that LEAP has its criteria for selecting beneficiaries and that it could not be said PLWDs below the ages of 18 and above 60 should automatically become LEAP beneficiaries.
Mr Debrah wondered why District Chief Executives are enforcing the Common Fund Administrator’s directive based merely on an oral directive which he said has no legal basis.
If the Local Government Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama does not do something about the situation, members of the Federation, Mr Debrah said, would be hitting the streets very soon.
Disbursing the five percent of the DACF to persons with disabilities has been a long-standing issue dating back to 2006/2007 when the Disability Act was passed.
PLWDs have persistently complained about the failure of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to implement the law and give them their due.
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