For Immediate Release
Accra, Ghana –The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the National Peace Council, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – officially launched the “National Election Early Warning and Response Group” (NEEWARG) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 in Accra. The primary objective of this Group is to discuss, develop, and recommend strategies to mitigate threats to the peaceful conduct of the 2016 elections. At the launch, the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, Minister of Interior, Honorable Prosper Bani, and the UNDP Country Director, Mr. Dominic Sam expressed commitment to support the Groups’ efforts to strengthen early response to threats around the elections and reduce the potential for conflict.
The Group will convene stakeholders from around the country, including representatives from the National Peace Council as well as eminent persons from relevant state and non-state institutions to compliment government efforts in the prevention and mitigation of election-related violence. Through WANEP’S extensive network of civil society organizations and appointed community monitors across the country, the group will be better placed to identify potential risks of election violence. If monitoring in a given area reveals a heightened risk of violence at any point in the election cycle, WANEP will develop recommendations on how it can be prevented, and will channel these recommendations to members of NEEWARG for immediate deliberation and action.
The eminent members of the Group will use their years of experience and influence to facilitate early response to conflict and early warning issues before they escalate into violence. As part of a greater initiative, the U.S. Government will provide grants to local civil society organizations to implement the early response options that will be recommended by members of the Group.
The National Early Warning and Response Group will also be replicated at the regional level in the Northern and Ashanti Regions. The Regional Peace Council in each region will host the response group. These two Councils will represent the interest of the northern and southern Regional Peace Councils and ensure that electoral conflict threats at the grassroots level receive immediate attention and response at the regional level. Members of the Regional Councils will provide direct input into the National Peace Council’s activities.
Ambassador Jackson emphasized that “Ghana has strong democratic credentials; however, we must not be complacent, but remain vigilant of the risks of instability in the upcoming elections.”
USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID supports Ghana in increasing food security, improving basic health care, enhancing access to quality basic education, and strengthening local governance to benefit all Ghanaian people.
Last updated: September 13, 2016