Face reality and fight poverty!!

The Ghana Statistical Ser­vice (GSS) has launched a report which states that a total of 7.3 million persons, rep­resenting 24.3 per cent of 30.1 million household population in the country, are multidimensional poor.

The expression multidi­mensional poor is defined as a non-monetary measure of poverty that reflects various areas in which the population may be deprived of their needs in terms of education, health, employment and living conditions.

Then, for clarity, 13 indicators are provided under the four the­matic areas.

These are mentioned as school attendance, school attainment, school lag, health insurance, employment, cooking fuel, water, assets, housing, overcrowding, electricity, unimproved toilet, and mortality. (See our lead story).

The GSS reports on poverty rates in the country must engage the attention of all Ghanaians, particularly the country’s man­agers at all administrative levels, because poverty is the greatest hindrance to human progress.

A definition of poverty can put the foregoing statement in context.

Poverty is a state of being in which a person lacks the income (money) or other means of support to reliably meet his or her basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and good health.

The truth is that no country can claim to not have poor peo­ple living in it but the magnitudes or levels and the rates differ in the various countries.

However, one thing is clear that wherever there is poverty, it means that some people are facing some hardships that need to be tackled by the state.

It is unfortunate that when it comes to discourse on matters of poverty and hardship in Ghana, the issues are usually watered down by politicians and their cronies.

It sometimes beats imagination as to whether these people know and feel the reality or just want to say something for the sake of political expediency.

The more unfortunate situation is when hosts of programmes on radio and television fail to correct guests’ wrong points and as such allow even the reality to be rubbished, especially when the arguments are coming from political opponents.

Today, the country’s man­agers attribute all the causes of hardships in the country to external factors, particularly the Russian-Ukraine war, which is an insult to the intelligence of those who think otherwise.

What effective interventions have successive political admin­istrations put in place to alleviate poverty in the country?

Have politicians ever consid­ered their contributions to the causes of poverty and related hardships in the country?

It is true that no country is completely free from poverty and related hardships, yet some countries have been able to limit poverty levels and rates in their jurisdictions due to their strong social welfare systems and high standards of living.

The Nordic countries like Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are good examples of such countries.

It is also insulting that poli­ticians and political communi­cators in Ghana always ignore these examples and compare the country’s performance in every area of life to bad situations in mostly struggling nations.

Thank God, the GSS is always ready to provide the statistics of the realities that obtain in every aspect of life in the country to guide informed discourse.

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