A UN Human Rights and Poverty expert, Philip Alston, has tasked the government of Ghana to address issues pertaining to growing inequality in order to eradicate poverty.
According to Mr Alston, Ghana is likely to fall short of meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially the eradication of poverty if it fails to tackle the inequality problem in the country.
Available statistics at the Ghana Statistical Service indicate that one-quarter of Ghana’s population live in poverty, with one out of every 12 persons living in extreme poverty.
The Human Rights expert, who was speaking at the end of a 10-day fact-finding mission to the Greater Accra, Northern and Upper East regions in Ghana, said government ought to make swift interventions in order to bridge the inequality gap.
“Ghana is at crossroads and must now decide whether to continue existing policies that will further enrich the wealthy and do little for the poor or to make fiscal adjustments that would lift millions out of poverty and bring them into the agricultural economy in ways that will contribute significantly to economic growth,” Philip Alston said.
He added that the benefits of record levels of economic development experienced over the past decade have gone to the wealthy, and inequality is higher than it has ever been in Ghana.
According to Philip Alston, government spends very little on social protection and this has dire effects on many lives.
He tasked government to dedicate more resources to supporting the poor and needy in society in order to bridge the gap between the poor and the wealthy.
“The challenge going forward is for the government to choose its real priorities, make sure that social protection is among them, and to be more transparent about potential costs and possible fund sources,” Philip Alston concluded.
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