Griffith raps cuts to NGOs
Executive director of the Barbados Family Planning Association (BFPA), George Griffith wants Government to be more analytical, in its spending cuts so organisations performing vital roles are not compromised.
He added that because of such cuts, a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were now in a vulnerable state.
“I feel strongly that charitable organisations and the NGO sector, rather than being roped in across-the-board cuts, that some consideration should be given to the specific nature of . . . the services because we are sometimes able to reach a population the Government is not always able to reach. You tell me, which agencies of Government are doing the advocacy and community outreach we do? None!”
Griffith told the DAILY NATION yesterday, after the launch of a new programme for teen mothers at UN House, that the BFPA was a prime example.
“In Government’s financial year 2007-2008 the Government subvention to the BFPA was $1 050 000. It has been reduced . . . [every year] and today, projection for this financial year 2014/2015 is going to be $571 684. You can see we have had a drastic reduction over this time by more than 50 per cent,” he said.
Griffith stressed this was made all the more unfortunate given the BFPA’s track record.
“I feel the NGO sector is vulnerable at this stage and I think that there should be some special consideration given to the NGO sector, especially with the track record we have, 60 years of good quality service to Barbados.
“We can say, without fear of contradiction, that Barbados’ social and economic development has been enhanced by the presence of the BFPA.”
However, he said the BFPA was still holding its own, thanks to renewed efforts to stay afloat.
“The good thing is that, through our own efforts and some strategies we have deployed, we are earning more through our activities than before. We are highly subsidised and provide a number of free services and have expanded our operations to seven days a week. There are major challenges confronting us but we are going to ensure that we maintain services . . . .” Griffith, who started at the BFPA in 1992, said he was getting ready to retire, this being his last year of service.