LET’S END POVERTY

Poverty is a term that has varying definitions. The UN says “Fundamentally, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society.”

 

The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than $1.90 per day and moderate poverty as living under less than $3.10 per day.

 

Overall, poverty is as consequence of the performance of the economy. When the economy of a country is doing well, there abounds opportunities and it provides livelihood to people to take them out of poverty.

However, when the economy is not doing well, opportunities are lost to the people, and for that matter some people will fall through the cracks, poverty then reigns.

 

The 1992 Constitution gives responsibility to the state to fight poverty and to make the citizens lead a life of dignity as enshrined in Article 36(1) “The State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximise the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy.”

 

Indeed, we have witnessed a gradual reduction in the rate of poverty levels in the country. Between 1990 to present time, Ghana is projected to have reduced poverty by 50 per cent.

 

In 2006, Ghana was the only country in sub-Saharan Africa, to have achieved the Millennium Development Goal 1 target of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty well ahead of the target date of 2015.

 

Recent projection by the World Poverty Clock that gives estimation on how countries are progressing toward ending extreme poverty, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,  (SDGs) to among others, end extreme poverty in all manifestations by 2030, showed estimated 2.8 people living in extreme poverty in Ghana.

 

It is worthy of note that; and indeed a great achievement to learn that Ghana escaped from the top 10 African countries with extreme poverty: Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, South Sudan and Zambia.

 

Worldwide, It is projected that 1.1 person escapes from poverty every second in poverty-stricken countries. This, experts say, is not fast enough to meet the SDG 1 escape rate of 1.5 person per second.

 

The Ghanaian Times is of the firm belief that, given the successes chalked up over the years, Ghana has the capacity to push on and end extreme poverty in the country.

 

However, the other dimension of poverty that is of great concern and a threat to our quest for just and equal society is income inequalities.

 

The Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies 2017-2024 showed that, all the regions recorded widening income inequality with the exception of Western, Central, Greater Accra, and Ashanti regions, which recorded declining income inequality.

This has to change if Ghana is to achieve its SDGs and ensure equitable distribution of wealth in the country.

 

We believe that, if we remained focused and continue to implement the poverty reduction interventions in health, education and general well-being, we should end poverty in all manifestations by 2030, as we did in halving poverty in the country in the past.

 

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