By Taban Henry
An official from the National Ministry of Gender Child and Social Welfare has decried that the lack of access to the budget allocated for the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) is posing a challenge.
This came during a meeting on Tuesday organized by the Union of the people living with disabilities that brought together members from across the ten states and the three Administrative Areas aiming to coordinate, initiate dialogue, advocate for inclusion and accessible services and to lobby and advocate for the formulation of national laws as well as policies to protect the rights of people living with disabilities.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Esther Ikere, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Gender Child and Social Welfare stated that they were facing the challenge of accessing budget allocated to the people living with disabilities.
“We always have a portion of budget allocated to the people living with disabilities under the directorate of Social Welfare for activities for persons with disabilities and it’s how we always support international events especially the commemoration of the international day for people living with disabilities from the same budget,” she said.
Ikere however said that the finances for the persons with disabilities remain as the budget in figures but they are unable to access.
“Most of the time we heard the challenge of accessing the finance so it remains as a budget where we are not able to access the funds that makes it a challenge but always we ensure as a ministry that there is a budget for people living with disabilities under the directorate of social welfare” she added.
The Undersecretary however didn’t disclose the specific amount of budget ceiling allocated to the people living with disabilities citing that the ministry always has a lump sum amount of money allocated to the people living with disabilities.
The Council of Ministers had approved and passed a budget of 1.3 trillion South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) for the fiscal year 2022/2023.
The amended budget was presented to the Cabinet during its regular meeting last Friday by the Finance Minister Agak Achuil Lual after a review and reconsideration of priorities that resulted in the addition of SSP 558 billion. This followed the Finance Minister’s first draft budget ceiling tabled to Cabinet in the tune of SSP 862 billion for the 2022/2023 financial year.
The 1.3 trillion budget ceiling approved by the Council of Ministers is however yet to be presented to the parliament for its appropriate action, scrutiny and final approval.