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12.12.2009 Politics

Government vows to tackle rural poverty head-on

By GNA
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Government vows to tackle rural poverty head-on
December 11, 2009
Kumasi, Dec 11, GNA - The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, has pledged the Government's determination to tackle rural poverty head-on by creating opportunities to stimulate overall economic growth.

This, he said, would enable the poor to build assets to address the widening inequality of incomes.

He was addressing the annual review workshop of the Sustainable Rural Livelihood Project (SRLP) held at the Salisberg Hotel at Gyenyase, Kumasi.

The project is the brainchild of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to deal with the high level of poverty among the rural population through the building of productive capacities in targeted regions, districts and communities.

This comes as the country positions itself to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of halving poverty by the year 2015.

Ghana Statistical Service poverty indicators show there was a remarkable improvement down to 28.5 per cent in 2005/2006 from 39.5 per cent in 1998 and 51.7 per cent in 1991.

Mr Opoku-Manu, however, said critical analysis of the aggregate figures put out by the Living Standards Survey IV of 2007, reveals worsening inequality across the country.

He said there is a surge of rural poverty and that the reduction has been insignificant in the poorer Savanna areas, and among women.

The Regional Minister said given the fact that more than 60 per cent of the country's population live in rural areas, any initiative that targets rural poverty has the potential to transform the poverty landscape.

It was on account of this that the SRLP holds a lot of promise for the nation.

Mr Edem Senanu, UNDP Programmes Coordinator, said the SRLP is being implemented in 61 communities in 16 districts in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Brong-Ahafo, Western and Ashanti regions.

Key generic strategies adopted include improved seeds supply, dry season gardening support, provision of small ruminants, food storage facilities, irrigation, grinding and milling equipment.

GNA

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