Caritas Ghana, a charity wing of the National Catholic Secretariat, and some faith-based organisations have urged Civil Society Organisations (CSO), to demand for accountability on the recent Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation to Ghana to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
This, according to them, would ensure transparency in the process of improving the overall macro-economic situation through debt sustainability and better fiscal consolidation.
The group made the call at the end of a national advocacy workshop organised by Caritas Ghana to equip faith-based leaders with the needed skills and knowledge to engage and influence SDRs, economic recovery and debt burden agenda.
It was held under the theme, “Engaging African Faith Based Institutions (FBIs) to Secure an Inclusive Economic Recovery and Debt Relief.”
Reverend Father. Charles Boampong Sarfo, Acting National Director of Caritas Ghana, called on the international community to aid the country through debt cancellation.
Rev. Fr. Sarfo, who is also the Assistant Secretary General of the National Catholic Secretariat noted that debt cancellation was one of the ways to help countries strengthen their economies.
He said Ghana like most African countries was currently facing harsh economic and debt crisis leading to unbearable hardships on the poor, vulnerable and the marginalized, the debt cancellation was key.
“Caritas Ghana is happy to join the episcopal conference of African and Madagascar (SECAM) among other FBIs and CSOs in calling for a reconsideration in the manner for dispensing SDRs so that their allocation is affiliated with the needs of the recipient countries,” he said.
Mr Bernard Anaba, a Policy Analyst, Integrated?Social Development Centre, Ghana, attributed?the cause of Ghana’s high economic debt to internal economic mismanagement, unexpected external shocks, low commodity prices and the cost of debt.
He said Ghana’s economic crisis was not different from the previous underlying causes in previous times.
“Our debt levels are so high over 80 per cent and with the IMF bailout, they are going to give us loans to solve our problem. If the IMF gives a loan, it will add up to the country’s debt stock so, by the next three or four years, we will run to the IMF again, which means the problem has not been solved,” he said.
He said as the IMF prepares to provide a bailout to the county, it was necessary for the government and the IMF to declare Ghana’s debt as unsustainable, which would enable Ghana to have the right to call?debtors to negotiate or restructure its debt.
“The IMF often recommends that countries that have high levels of debt may consider restructuring their debts, but you can only restructure when the IMF says it’s unsustainable,?but when the IMF does not say that your?debt is not sustainable, it means that, they would have to give you a loan to pay your debtors and the problem will be compounded,” he said.
Some representatives of the FBOs included ActionAid Ghana, Tax Justice Coalition-Ghana, Send Ghana and AbibiNsroma Foundation.
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