Members of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 Platform have called for stronger collaboration among stakeholders to meet the target of ending poverty by the year 2030.
The platform comprises civil society organizations with a common objective of coming together to ensure that SDG goal 1 is achieved within the targeted period.
At a review meeting in Accra, members identified huge gaps that exist in the country’s development agenda aimed at achieving the 2030 target.
Although the meeting acknowledged that Ghana has made a significant progress in the past two decades in meeting MDG 1 goals by halving poverty rates from 52% to 24% quoting the World Bank IBRD-IDA report 2015, it nonetheless maintained that poverty still stands at 23.4% per the Ghana Living Standard Survey GLSS Round 7 report, 2018.
It observed that poverty is higher in rural areas with inequalities and disparities widespread in access to economic, social and institutional opportunities across the country citing statistics from the (GLSS 7, 2018) report.
Members agreed that most people still live on less than $1.25 a day and many more vulnerable people find it difficult to meet basic human needs for survival a situation further compounded by the covid-19 pandemic.
It said climate change, floods, unemployment and conflicts have further pushed more people including children into extreme poverty making the progress on reducing poverty far too slow to meet the SDG 1 aspirations.
Child poverty is on the rise as more children are faced with violence, teenage pregnancy, extreme socio-economic hardships; inadequate access to quality health care delivery, safe and nutritious food all year round; limited access to safe and affordable drinking water as well as adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene.
A co-convener of the platform, Mr. Maxwell Amedi of World Vision International said “Ghana like all other countries have nine more years to end poverty in all its forms yet most children, youth, women and people with disability have been excluded from most interventions. Women for instance constitute almost 51% of the Ghanaian population but are disadvantaged in all sectors of the economy and the development agenda.”
Mr. Amedi further quoted a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) report, which indicates that three-in-four children (73.4%) in Ghana are identified as multi-dimensionally poor, facing at least three deprivations at the same time.
“Considering the issues enumerated above, if swift and significant actions are not taken, our progress on poverty reduction will be reversed,” he concluded.
Mr. Peter Bismark Kwofie of the Institute of Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) speaking on Ghana’s multi-dimensional poverty index (MPI) said different forms of poverty are emerging in society and hence the need to deal with the problem adding that this shows a worrying trend for which relevant authorities must start restructuring their anti-poverty programs to address these contemporary issues.
Though member organizations outlined interventions or projects ongoing which complements government efforts at poverty reduction, they resolved to take more proactive steps in the engagement of stakeholders like government, the private sector and other local and international partners to end poverty by 2030.
This they concluded could be achieved through identifying and addressing gaps in policies and strategies holistically and implementing programs and projects targeting the right people in order to close the identified gaps.