The National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) has 20 Dioceses which cuts across all the 10 regions in Ghana. This extensive reach is further extended to all the districts in Ghana through its Parishes, and thus is able to mobilize and respond to emergency situations. In addition, NCS is familiar with the localities where refugees are hosted (Egyeikrom, Ampain, Fetentaa and the Volta Region), having worked in these locations for several years now.
NCS has 23 years of experience working with UNHCR, and is currently focused on the following main areas of intervention: Health and Nutrition, Community Empowerment and Self-reliance through micro-finance, Water and Sanitation, Shelter and Security in the camps. NCS works through the Ghana Health Service and the Catholic Health Service to provide health care assistance to refugees in all the camps.The organization facilitates the enrolment of refugees on the National Health Insurance Scheme. NCS ensures regular dislodgements of latrines, and maintains sanitary conditions on the camp through refugee volunteers who have been trained in appropriate sanitation management.
NCS supports Supplementary feeding programmes which covers the vulnerable including the chronically ill, POCs on medication, pregnant and lactating mothers and persons with disability (PWD) to curb the emergence of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) cases. The main source of food for the refugees is the food basket provided by the World Food Programme- WFP (rice, beans, oil, corn-soy blend, iodized salt). NCS effects monthly food distributions to beneficiaries.
In order to promote self-reliance for Togolese refugees in the Volta Region, NCS oversees the implementation of a micro-finance project, by monitoring the disbursement and use of funds for micro-loans and other financial services for some 244 beneficiaries. This project is for those who have the capacity to build livelihoods and have ongoing businesses, but could not access loans from formal financial institutions so far due to lack of appropriate documentation and collateral.
NCS is currently overseeing the completion of 364 transitional shelters being constructed in the three camps with Ivorians. This is part of initiatives to move from the emergency shelters constructed in 2011 during the influx, to more adequate and appropriate dwelling, given that PoC have indicated in 2012 and 2013 Intention Surveys that they do not plan to return to their Country of Origin soon.
NCS ensures that sanitary conditions are maintained in the camps, through Water and Sanitation Committees formed with refugee membership. They also ensure minimum walking distance to access potable water supply to all sections of the camp. NCS initiates actions to improve upon environmental degradation; this includes enhancing drainage situation and ensuring afforestation in order to prevent the serious damage caused by erosion.
Security in the Camps is provided by the Ghana Police Service (GPS).UNHCR supports with financial assistance through NCS to the police in the camps. As the numbers deployed are insufficient, alternative security arrangements with a refugee vigilante initiative (neighborhood watch team) have been organized as part of the camp management system, and NCS provides allowances to them as incentive.