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19.01.2010 Regional News

NGOs refund money misapplied in Eastern Region

By GNA
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Koforidua, Jan. 19, GNA - Three local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which misapplied funds provided by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) for HIV/AIDS activities, had been made to refund the amount involved.

They are Tajaaf Foundation of New Juaben Municipality, Child Education Assistance Project of Akuapem North District and Riverstone Foundation of the Yilo Krobo District.

This was revealed by Ms Rita Ntoso, Project Officer of Drama Network, a lead NGO supervising local NGOs working to promote safe sexual life styles and the reduction of HIV.

It was at a review meeting of the Eastern Regional AIDS Committee with stakeholders and NGOs operating in HIV prevention activities in the region.

Ms Ntoso did not give details of the amounts involved but said her organization had recommended the abrogation of the contract of Riverstone Foundation for non performance and for lack of a stable office.

Another NGO, Klo Drivers Alliance, involved in the project in Upper Manya Krobo District, also had its contract terminated for non performance.

Ms Ntoso said during the second half of last year, the project was able to establish 79 non traditional condom distribution centres in the districts where it operated like akpeteshie bars, lotto kiosks and fast food joints.

She said during that period, the local NGOs engaged in the project were able to sell 98,475 male condoms and 3,917 female condoms.

Mr Kwasi Owusu Poku, Senior Programmes Officer of Theatre for a Change, a NGO, suggested that in future, funds from the GAC should not be shared equally among the local NGOs but should be based on performance.

He said the capacities of the local NGPs differ and that tended to affect their performance hence high performing NGOs needed to be given more funding to enable them achieve results.

Dr Sampson B. Ofori, Eastern Regional Co-ordinator of the National Aids Control Programme (NACP), called on the NGOs to account for HIV test kits given to them and urged them to work in collaboration with the Ghana Health Services to help bring down HIV prevalence in the region.

The Regional HIV Focal Person, Ms Golda Asante, called on the District Focal Persons to terminate the contract of non-performing local NGOs and not to wait till they mess up the project before taking action.

Ms Asante urged the District Focal Persons to encourage the local NGOs to consider prayer camps when selecting vulnerable groups and also engage in activities that would help reduce stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

GNA

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