Government is setting aside 50 per cent of Micro Finance and Small Loans Centre(MASLOC) loans for Ghanaian women as part of the strategic measures to reduce poverty in the country.
It is also introducing free Senior High School education for all children to ensure that a majority of them acquire education at that level.
Ms. Otiko Afisah Djaba, President’s Representative at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection announced these measures on Thursday (February 1, 2017) at the 55th session of the United Nations’ Commission on Social Development in New York, when she outlined how Ghana has been implementing a comprehensive and integrated Social Protection framework to reduce poverty.
The 11-day session is under the theme “Strategies for eradication of poverty to achieve sustainable development for all’ is being attended by top government functionaries and civil society organizations .
She said that other pragmatic interventions in the Ghana Social Protection Programme included livelihood empowerment, human capital development, access to basic health care and improved services, which formed part of sustained measures to eradicate extreme poverty and reduce by at least 50 per cent the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty.
Ms. Otiko Djaba mentioned that the beneficiaries of the free Schools Feeding Programme will be increased from the current 1.7 million school children to three million.
To boost agriculture production and ensure food security, the President’s Representative said government will build small scale dams in arid communities, especially in the northern part of the country. aside this, everything will be done to reduce the phenomenon of head porters in the country.
On the long awaited Affirmative Action Bill, she indicated that everything will be done to ensure that it is passed to promote gender equality.
Further more, Ms. Otiko Djaba pointed out that various interventions and programmes had been initiated by the government to address child trafficking and also extend social protection interventions to both coastal and inland fishing communities, where such incidents are common.
Reiterating Ghana’s commitment to continue with the eradication of poverty, she explained that concrete actions had been designed to protect the vulnerable in the society, such as women, children and persons with disability from being subjected to economic discrimination and social marginalization.
“As a country, our objectives for the next 13 years are to halve the current percentage of poverty and augment employment opportunities for the poor through productive inclusion and decent work to ensure social security and social insurance. Our progress shall be measured by targets in line with the Sustainable Development Goals”, the President’s Representative stated.
She noted that Ghana has over the years implemented a comprehensive and integrated social protection policy framework which has holistic governance mechanism that ensures efficiency.
To this end, Ms Otiko Djaba urged the Commission to dispassionately discuss agenda items and prioritize actions and recommendations contained in the Secretary General’s report to ensure the creation of a just and equitable society.
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