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24.10.2020 Regional News

7 Disability CSOs Awarded COVID-19 Grants

By Benjamin Nii-Lartey Ayiku (BNA) || Disability Rights Advocate, Ghana
7 Disability CSOs Awarded COVID-19 Grants
LISTEN OCT 24, 2020

Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (Ghana Participation Programme) has awarded COVID-19 Psychosocial Resilience Grants to seven Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) within the disability fraternity.

The grants, totaling almost 1.2 million Ghana Cedis, are funded by UK Aid from the UK Government.

The awardees are expected to provide psychosocial support to persons with disabilities, including persons with mental health disabilities; Healthcare workers, as well as people who recovered from COVID-19. This is to reduce the negative effects of COVID-19 on their lives.

The seven recipients are a selection of organizations of persons with disabilities and other CSOs working on disability and mental health in Ghana. They include Ghana Association of the Physically Disabled (GSPD), Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG), Presbyterian Community Based Rehabilitation Center-Garu and Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC).

The rest are Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), Presbyterian Community Based Rehabilitation Center-Sandema and Hope for Future Generations/Psyk Forum (HFFG/PsyK).

The recipients expressed their appreciation for the grants and promised to effectively implement their various projects to help achieve the ultimate purpose of the grants while ensuring that the successes that would be chalked would be sustained.

At a media briefing in Accra on Friday, October 23, 2020, to announce the awardees, the team leader for Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, Madam Lyla Adwan-Kamara said, the provision of funding support for disability and mental health was in line with global calls for increased investment in mental health.

She noted that persons with disabilities, including persons with mental health disabilities, are disproportionately impacted by emergencies like COVID-19, adding that health workers also face significant additional stress in their line of duty, as well as survivors of COVID-19. It was, therefore, their expectation that the grants would help to address such needs of those groups.

Ghana Somubi Dwumadie is a four-year disability programme in Ghana, with a specific focus on mental health. The programme which is funded by the UK Government is run by an options’ led consortium, which also consists of BasicNeeds-Ghana, Kings College London, Sightsavers International, and Tropical Health, and focuses on four areas: Promoting strong policies and systems that respect the rights of persons with disabilities, including persons with mental disabilities, scaling up high quality and accessible mental health services, reducing stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities, including persons with mental disabilities and generating evidence to inform policy and practice on the effectiveness of disability and mental health programs and interventions.

In her speech, the deputy team leader for Social Sectors, Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), Madam Enyornam Azumah, disclosed that the UK Government has supported the Government of Ghana to provide cash transfers to over 330,000 of the poorest households in Ghana. Additionally, 250,000 people also received quality mental health services expanded through primary health care.

She added that the UK’s support to the seven organizations was evidence of the country’s contribution to protecting the most vulnerable and addressing stigma in the communities within which they live.

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