Give Ghana’s poorest families and children a fair chance to succeed in life
UNICEF Ghana made this assertion as it welcomed several of the world’s leading poverty and social protection experts to Accra this week
One in four Ghanaians still live in poverty, making the gap between the rich and poor now bigger than ever
UNICEF Ghana welcomes the Government’s commitment to prioritise funds for social protection programmes, which are dedicated to assisting the country’s poorest families in its 2017 budget. It now encourages the Government to take the next step of ensuring that delivery of social protection to Ghana’s poor is further supported through coordinated implementation with other essential services and interventions, in order to achieve sustainable life-changing impact.
UNICEF Ghana made this assertion as it welcomed several of the world’s leading poverty and social protection experts to Accra this week.
One in four Ghanaians still live in poverty, making the gap between the rich and poor now bigger than ever. As such social protection programmes - such as Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), School Feeding Programme, and Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme - are more important today than ever before.
These programmes support vulnerable families to meet basic needs, access schooling and receive healthcare. They are also effective and efficient tools to reduce poverty and promote growth for Ghana. Evidence shows that when social protection is combined with effective education and health, the effects are even stronger.
“The formal connections between LEAP and NHIS have provided poor households greater access to health services and improved their overall wellbeing. This success indicates there is a real opportunity to replicate the collaboration, joining LEAP and other sectors,” said Peter Ragno, Social Protection Specialist at UNICEF Ghana. “For example, ensuring LEAP households are entitled to agriculture outreach services will increase household productivity, promote sustainable and resilient livelihoods, and generate positive impacts in the surrounding communities. Continuous investments in social protection, combined with new linkages to quality social services, will ensure long-term returns for the country as a whole.”
UNICEF’s calls have been welcomed by the global experts who arrive in Ghana on 27th March to discuss key issues with national experts related to strengthening the social protection system. One of the experts, Jose Cuesta from the UNICEF Office of Research, said: “Promoting inclusive growth and protecting the poor in Ghana will require expanding the budget for LEAP and ensuring it benefits those truly in need and on time.” On Tuesday 28 March, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will host a national social protection dialogue to discuss how connections across pro-poor interventions can contribute to effective poverty reduction within Ghana.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNICEF Ghana.