Ghana: Parliament Approves Budget Estimates for 7 Ministries

13 December 2019

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is scrambling for resources to provide shelter for victims of domestic violence and undertake other activities as part of its mandate, Parliament has observed.

This is despite a GH₵54,193,772 unspent money sitting in its account from the 2019 budget and an amount of US$81 million donor fund.

This came to light on the floor of Parliament yesterday during the approval of a GH¢745,887,663 budget estimate for the ministry for the 2020 fiscal year.

Established in 2001, the Ministry of Gender is clothed with the responsibility of ensuring gender equality through mainstreaming of gender considerations, promoting welfare of children and empowering the vulnerable.

Issues of Domestic Violence are one of the most common forms of gender-based violence in the world due to its immediate devastating consequences to those affected including physical injuries, mental health problems and poor well-being.

The act had also been found to limit women and girl's abilities of exhibiting and fulfilling their full potentials.

As a result, many have been advocating the need to address the issue by way of providing immediate assistance and support to victims in areas of food, safe housing and transportation, among others.

Supported by these several years of advocacy efforts by key civil society organisations and women's rights organisations, the Government of Ghana enacted the Domestic Violence Act (Act 732) on February 21, 2007 to address the issue.

But the Gender committee's report on the 2020 annual budget estimates of the ministry noted that the ministry was unable to provide shelter for victims or survivors of gender based violence.

The committee reported that an amount of GH¢1 million that the ministry needed to operationalise the secretariat wasn't allocated hence the inability of the ministry to provide support to victims of domestic violence.

Unhappy about developments at the ministry, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, questioned why the unspent money was left to sit in the account when there was need for same.

"The ministry was given an amount of GH¢167,098,431.44 but accounted for only ¢112,904,658.86.This means that the ministry was not able to spend the money while other ministries are looking for additional resources , this ministry must not be telling us this," Mr Iddrisu said

He advised the officials at the ministry not to repeat same in 2020 especially when other ministries don't have much to work with.

The House meanwhile, has approved a GH¢136,627,625 for the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, GH¢40,417,629 for the Business Development Ministry and GH¢106,124,439 for the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo.

Other ministries which had their budgets approved were Defence, GH¢1,544,325,702, Sanitation, GH¢360,168,622 and Labour Commission, GH¢6,558,123.

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