General News of Tue, 24 Oct 20175

School Feeding caterers besiege Gender Ministry to demand arrears

Caterers employed under the Ghana school feeding programme have besieged the premises of the Gender ministry in Accra as they demand the full payment of their arrears.

The caterers, on Monday, threatened to demonstrate if their monies were not paid in full by the Akufo-Addo government.

Last week, government released GHC21 million to cater for seven days out of the over 100 days it owes the caterers.

The women, however, claim that government’s decision to pay them in bits is engulfing them in debts as they borrowed monies to start the project, which was supposed to be pre-financed

The Gender minister Otiko Djaba has given the assurance that efforts are being made by government to pay the outstanding debts owed the women, whose contracts have been terminated since May this year.

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Meanwhile, about four auxiliary organizations including the World Food Programme, which provides meals for some selected schools in the region, the Hershey company, S.M.D which provides financial support to the caterers have suspended support for the Northern Regional Secretariat of the School feeding programme following raging controversies that have bedeviled the programme since the change of government.

Earlier this year, caterers under the school feeding protested against the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, demanding the payment of their arrears.

Some of the caterers said they had not been paid for more than 8 months.

The Ghana School Feeding Programme has been ongoing since 2005, with the aim to provide pupils in public basic schools with one hot nutritious meal every day.

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