Rural poverty worsens despite strides in urban poverty- MDG Report

Extreme poverty in the rural areas continues to deepen in Ghana despite strides made in the urban areas to reduce the phenomenon, the Millennium Development Goal report has indicated.

The report suggested that Ghana managed to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty between 1990 and 2006 but much progress has not been seen in rural and northern Ghana.

The three northern regions have recorded worse poverty levels, the report concluded.

“There is deep poverty in the rural areas and in the three northern regions. A high poverty gap ratio was reported in the three northern regions.

“A considerable proportion of the poor are far away from escaping poverty. The highest poverty ratio recorded in the Upper West Region in 2013 was 47.1 per cent.” Same was recorded in Upper East and Northern Regions, Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo read excerpts of the report as saying.

The report was launched in Accra Tuesday by the United Nations and the National Development Planning Commission.

The Director General of the NDPC Dr Nii Moi Thompson said the situation did not improve even in 2015.

“Analysis from the 2015 report has shown that despite the real progress made the most vulnerable people, the poorest of the poor and other disadvantaged groups have recorded limited progress.

“Disparities in progress between urban and rural areas remain a constant worry that much continues to be done to command the attention of policy makers,” he said.

Even though poverty has reduced in the urban areas, there is also an increase in inequality, the 2015 report indicated.

Explaining the differences in poverty levels in the urban and rural areas, Dr Eric Asibey Yeboah who is with the Economics Department of the University of Ghana said the economy is growing but only limited people are benefitting.

“Explaining the increase in income inequalities also underscores the kind of economic growth, the quality of growth process; the distributional effect of the growth and the sources of this growth.

“Most of our growth is coming from the extractive sectors, oil, mining which is often capital intensive and has no linkage at all with the other sectors and unable to carry the majority of the people along when we are growing.”

Another Economist Dr William Baah Boateng, the author of the MDG report on Ghana who was also present at the launch, said seven regions have been able to achieve the poverty target as at 2013. However, the depth of poverty (people who are far away from crossing the poverty line) is becoming worse.

“Even though we have been able to attain the poverty incidence we still have a problem when it comes to the poverty gap,” he said.

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