Gap between the poor and rich widens-UNICEF Report

Latest statistics by UNICEF have shown that the gap between the rich and the poor in Ghana continues to widen due to a lack of inclusive development.

The statistics show that the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions continue to suffer the lowest pace of development and highest rate of poverty. This comes despite a drop in the poverty level from over 70% to 44% in the Upper East Region from 2006 to 2013, and from 56% to 50% in the Northern Region within the same period.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the matter, Vice President of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr. Esther Ofei Aboage said government should continue to invest in local poverty eradication programmes such as LEAP, the National Health Insurance Scheme and the School Feeding Project to correct the development.

“One out of eight households eligible for LEAP is receiving the cash.We need to upscale extensively the same way we need to upscale school feeding extensively”.

She added that government should put in place measures to ensure that beneficiaries of poverty eradication programmes attain skills to make them self-dependent.

“We need to also build in the linkages with these initiatives as the labour intensive public works policy but most importantly we have to make the necessary physical space”

Dr. Esther Ofei Aboage added that government should strengthen the local systems of eradicating poverty and not rely so much on foreign aid

“We need to make sure that we can feed our own children so that we don’t depend on development partner sources for these interventions and programmes and otherwise the reliability of these transfers I mean you do something and it’s a good thing and the next day there’s no money for it and that willnot sustain the momentum that we want we want to draw attention to it we want to encourage our government to prioritize and continue to fund these interventions”.