The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by the UNDP, which claimed that eight million Ghanaians (24.6 percent of the population) in 2021 are multidimensionally poor.
In addition, about 6.5million Ghanaians (20.1 percent) is classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty in 2021.
Commenting on Ghana’s data, the UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Dr Angela Lusigi, noted that: “It is difficult to see the real poverty picture post-COVID, but the available data used for this multidimensional poverty index shows Ghana was making progress towards poverty reduction. It is important to consolidate the gains made over the period and accelerate recovery efforts to ensure no one is left behind”.
In another report, nearly 850,000 individuals were pushed into poverty in 2022 due to rising prices.
According to the latest World Bank Economic Update, the considerable rise in prices worsened food insecurity in Ghana, particularly toward the end of 2022.
It explained that food insecurity increased toward the end of 2022, correlating with the highest inflation rates.
“The number of food-insecure individuals rose, with higher prevalence rates in the post-harvest season. Food insecurity at crisis and emergency levels is expected to remain elevated through mid-2023”.
This is, indeed, something to worry about for an administration that came into office with the promise to pull most Ghanaians out of the poverty threshold.
In the considered opinion of this newspaper, this is a damning statistic and a wake-up call for all leaders at all levels of governance in the country.
It is pertinent to stress that lifting millions out of poverty is not rocket science. All it takes is good and committed leadership. The time has come for our leaders to start to deliver the basic minimum of governance. In our view, people-centered policies should be on the front burner.
Besides, good governance translates to the growth and development of any country. The more people feel the impact of good governance, the more they are lifted out of poverty.
Ghana, is blessed with abundant resources, human and material which, with a purposeful leadership, will make any talk of poverty out of sync with reality.
What is required at this time, in our opinion, is a deliberate policy re-engineering that will bring about attitudinal changes in the government and the governed in such a manner that will impact positively on the polity.
By way of conjecture, it is easy to blame mismanagement by those put in charge to ensure that resources of the state are applied judiciously. But put appropriately, corruption in high places should take the cake for reducing the people to the level of paupers.