Ghana News

CSOs hit with lack of funding — Report

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The civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country are facing challenges of lack of funding from donors following the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the onset of the pandemic and related restrictions, some CSOs lost donor support and, therefore, could not carry out their intended projects, a situation that compelled some of them to lay off staff.

The organisational capacity and financial visibility dimensions of CSOs had also deteriorated over the period.

According to records at the Non-Profit Organisations Secretariat, Ghana, out of the 10,030 registered CSOs, only 774 had been able to renew their permits.

The findings were contained in a 2020 Ghana CSO Index Sustainability report which further indicated that in spite of the importance of CSOs to the development of the country, “they are facing the monumental challenge of survival”.

Presenting the report at a seminar in Accra on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, a development consultant, Mr Douglas Quartey, said the study had exposed the fragility of CSOs in terms of access to funding and its implications to their work.

He explained that the sustainability index report is a tool used by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to study the strength and viability of the CSO sector in countries of operation to enable key stakeholders to monitor their successes, challenges and opportunities.

Support

The report, therefore, entreated the private sector and the government to support CSOs with funding to enable them to continue with their interventions in the health, educational and agricultural sectors, among others.

“CSOs have played important roles in keeping our democracy alive; they have contributed to the peace that we are enjoying. They are now dying out because donors are not funding them. We, as a country, need to look at their situation and assist them to survive,” Mr Quartey, who is also the author of the report, said.

According to him, it was the government’s responsibility to put in place measures and also provide some incentives to distressed sectors of the economy, including CSOs, for them to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other factors

A senior research fellow of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Mr Kwesi Jonah, said even without the pandemic, the financial crisis faced by CSOs was bound to happen because of Ghana’s status as a middle-income nation.

“Now donors are moving to poorer countries, which tells us that we cannot continue to do things the same way as CSOs,” he said.

On how CSOs could recover from the impact of the pandemic, a representative of the West Africa Civil Society Institute, Mr Charles Vandyck, said the organisations should be more strategic
in their approach to mobilising resources by coming under one umbrella.

He said they could also employ the use of technology in their advocacy programmes.

Credit:GraphicOnline

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