CEPO calls for disability-inclusive budget

CEPO calls for disability-inclusive budget
International disability sign. [Courtesy]

A civil society organisation has raised red flag over a deliberate attempt to lock out people living with disabilities from the budget-making process.

The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) is concerned that people with disabilities have been dismally featured in the national budgets.

This is after the Council of Ministers approved a whopping 1.3 trillion financial year budget with a deficit of over 558 billion South Sudanese Pounds.

In a press statement issued Monday, CEPO executive director, Edmund Yakani, said the absence of an ‘inclusive budget” adds to the additional cost of living with a disability.

“The silence on providing sound funds for meeting the priorities of persons with disabilities is a real and intended discrimination on the part of the population of persons with disabilities,” Yakani said.

 “The moment of demonstrating commitment for inclusion of persons with disabilities priorities in all our decisions is now, not tomorrow.” he added

“Customising the national budget for 2022-2023 to support the execution of the R-ARCSS is a great idea, but it must include considerations for people with disabilities. Mr. Yakani emphasized

In a related development, CEPO is pushing the president’s national mechanism to convene a meeting to discuss the status of the R-ARCSS implementation.

Yakani said that the R-ARCSS is being implemented in a very sluggish and selective manner. In terms of political milestones, some progress was made, but not to the extent that the R-ARCSS provisions predicted.

Restoring independent commissions at the national level, reforming some laws and policies, and establishing county legislative councils are all examples of dragging one’s heels. Economically, the essential public finance changes are taking a long time to implement. The execution of the transitional security arrangements has made very little progress.

According to Mr. Yakani, the unity of the command structure and the relative holding of the ceasefire among the troops of the parties’ signatories to the R-ARCSS are the only areas where progress has been made.

“Although the public discussions on the nature of the transitional justice process are below the required requirements for real public consultations, they are implemented in Chapter 5,”he held

As the country prepares for the visit of the Pope and other eminent Christian leaders, CEPO is calling on the presidency to discuss and make critical decisions on R-ARCSS implementation.

“The visit of these three Christian faith spiritual leaders should be accompanied by a show of commitment and political will to fully execute the R-ARCSS and use the Rome peace process to help the country move from violence to peace” says Yakani.