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10.05.2004 General News

NGOs: Dagbon crisis is a worry

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Dalun (N/R), May 10, GNA - Dr Abubakr Al-Hassan, Chairman of the Ghana Danish Community Association (GDCA) has said that a major challenge facing the Association was the uneasy calm prevailing in Dagbon.

He explained that even though the lifting of the curfew and the state-of- emergency in some of the districts had helped to improve the operations of the Association as well as other Non-governmental Organisations, the situation in Yendi and Tamale were still a worry. Dr Al-Hassan was addressing the 20th Annual General Meeting of the GDCA at Dalun in the Tolon-Kumbungu District on Saturday. The GDCA is an umbrella body of NGOs, which are sponsored by the Danish government. It consists of the Ghana-Danish Community Programme, School for Life and the Community Life Improvement Programme. The NGOs have been complementing the government's development efforts in the provision of community infrastructure development, functional literacy for children, potable water, food security and micro credit financing programme, all aimed at improving the condition of living among communities.

Dr Al-Hassan urged the government and other stakeholders mediating in the Dagbon crises to work hard to bring a lasting peace to the area so as to pave the way for development.

He said another problem that was threatening their operations was the recent spate of armed attacks on NGOs, especially against expatriate personnel in the Tamale Metropolis.

Such attacks are not only impeding the operations of the NGOs but also impacted negatively on the development progress of the region, he said and appealed to the security agencies to calm the situation by bringing the perpetuators to book to allow NGOs to perform their duties without fear.

"Already, some foreign partners and NGOs have withdrawn from the area and are not likely to come back," he said.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Ernest Debrah, Northern Regional Minister, commended the GDCA for bringing development projects to the people and urged the beneficiary communities to play their roles by ensuring the judicial use of facilities provided them.

He advised the people to ensure sustainable peace in the area saying, it is only when there is peace that development can be accomplished.

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