Ghana making progress in poverty alleviation, food security

Ghana is making steady progress in its quest to alleviate poverty and ensure food security by 2025.

This follows the adoption of more than 30 social protection interventions as mechanism to eradicate abject poverty particularly in rural communities.

Speaking at a forum in Accra yesterday, to mark this year’s International Day for Eradicating Poverty (IDEP), the Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), Mawutor Ablo, said the numerous interventions pursued by government to tackle poverty was speedily yielding results.

The day was instituted by the United Nations (UN) in partnership with the World Bank Group to create awareness on the need to speed up efforts to reduce poverty around the world.

This year’s event was marked on the theme, “Food and jobs: facilitating poverty through sustainable agriculture” with emphasis on agribusiness as means to boost food production.

According to Mr. Ablo, government had, over the past decade, introduced many interventions with a sole objective of addressing hunger, poverty and health issues in the country.

He mentioned the programmes as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the Ghana School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Capitation Grant, Free School Uniform, free exercise books and the labour intensive public works.

He said, about 1,645 beneficiary households that were registered under the LEAP programme in 2008 have been increased to more than 120,000 to provide cash relief for people living in abject poverty.

On the NHIS programme, he said government had registered and was providing free healthcare for more than one million vulnerable beneficiaries, while thousands of persons had been employed under the labour intensive public works with majority of them being women.

“Both the LEAP and NHIS programme had been designed in a way that would ensure that people registered under the LEAP programme were also rolled onto the NHIS for not only cash relief but also quality healthcare,” he stressed.

Mr. Ablo explained that the interventions were critical because they had become an indispensable part of the government’s responsibility towards its citizens in line its sustainable development goals.

The Chief of Social Policy at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ms. Sarah Hague, lauded government for the implementation of the interventions.

She described the LEAP programme as one of the numerous interventions by government that was steadily yielding positive results and helping to reduce poverty in rural communities.

The Manager of Agriculture Global Practice at World Bank, Mr. Simeon Ehui, urged countries particularly those in Africa to double their efforts in alleviating poverty and hunger.

He said for developing and under-developed countries to eradicate poverty and end hunger they needed to devise comprehensive strategies and show commitment to their implementation.

According to Mr Ahui, there should be clear and precise plans to address climate change, hunger including malnutrition and obesity, and the decline in agriculture production in the country

 

By Charles Amankwa

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