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21.05.2005 General News

Govt urged to reduce poverty levels among Ghanaians

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Takoradi, May 21, GNA - Mr. Eric A. Agyare, Private Sector Development Advisor of the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) has expressed concern about the high poverty levels among Ghanaians. He said several people die of malaria while others could not afford quality and timely health care.

Mr. Agyare said these at a forum on the 2005 budget organised by the Friends of the Nation, (FON) a non-governmental organisation based in Takoradi.

He said the high rate of population growth and lack of employment opportunities, had resulted in the inability of the people to cope with the situation.

Mr. Agyare said the situation could be reversed if new strategies were adopted and said the government must create opportunities for poor people and value added to local resources while the private sector had to be encouraged to create a business environment to employ more people. Mr. Agyare said sustained development and training of the human resource of the country could greatly reduce the incidence of poverty among the people.

Mr. Vitus Azain, Coordinator for Centre of Budget Advocacy (CBA) said the public education on the budget was timely and very necessary. He said recommendations and comments from the forum would be compiled and forwarded to the government for the necessary action. Mr. Albert Kataku, Western Regional Manager of Care International said the increases in the prices of petroleum products, particularly liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) could have serious effects on existing forest and wood reserves.

He said since many people were likely to revert to the use of fuel wood efforts must be made to reduce the cost of the product. Mr. Donkris Mevuta, Executive Secretary of FON said every effort must be made to make many Ghanaians to understand and contribute towards the national budget and other issues.

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