Dr Philimona Nyarko revealed that about 6.4million Ghanaians are living below the upper poverty line while 2.2million are below the lower poverty line
This according to Dr Nyarko, will reduce hardships, alleviate poverty and strengthen social protection systems for sustainable development.
Dr Philomina Nyarko who made this call revealed that about 8.6 million Ghanaians live in poverty.
Speaking on Accra-based Class FM on the sidelines of a Dialogue Series on Sustainable Development with a focus on social protection programmes, Dr Nyarko said: “About 6.4million Ghanaians are below the upper poverty line and 2.2million are below the lower poverty line,” and, therefore, urged policy makers to target such people with their social protection policies so as to help fight poverty and avoid wasting resources.
She added that policymakers must: “target the people who really need help. When we say the very poor, it means these people don’t have enough resources to even cater for their nutritional requirement. …So if we are really able to identify the very poor households, then we will not waste resources because if you don’t use a very good mechanism to identify the people and then you go and give it to people who really don’t need it, then you are wasting resources and the poor will still be poor.”
Meanwhile, Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Nana Oye Lithur has indicated plans are far advanced in bringing the various social protection interventions under a single umbrella for effective implementation.
“We have about 44 social protection programmes and each one was operating separately from the other and they were not speaking to each other in terms of harnessing resources and making sure that for instance, there may be an adult in the household who can work so that person may be transferred to labour-intensive public works so that that person can be taught a skill.
"So, now, we are coordinating through the social protection directorate so that we can identify. And that is why if we have one common database, we will be able to track and know that this person can go to labour-intensive public works and get a job and be trained or can go to youth employment. So, this is what the targeting is also about – that we use one standard to identify potential beneficiaries,” she said.