Ghana launches Multidimensional Child Poverty Report

By Lydia Kukua Asamoah/Rihanna Adam, GNA

Accra, Jan. 23, GNA – The Ghana
Multidimensional Child Poverty Report, launched on Thursday in Accra, shows
that children in Ghana experience significant deprivations in services and
denial of their basic rights, and called for appropriate policy actions and
investment in children.

The Report indicated that nearly three out
of every four children in Ghana (73.4%), are deprived in nutrition, health,
learning, protection, water, sanitation, housing and information.

These children are deprived in at least
three out of the eight dimensions.

There are, however, very few children, only
2.5 per cent, who are without any deprivation.

The Report, put together by the National
Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the Ghana Statistical Service and the
Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, in collaboration with
UNICEF, has therefore, recommended an increase in political will to prioritise
child poverty issues at all levels through sensitisation campaigns.

The 107-page Report, among others, called
for multi-sectoral approaches through coordinated policy responses that
encouraged both the scaling up of specific sectoral interventions as well the
provision of complementary services by relevant stakeholders.

It said specific groups of deprived children
based on location and dimensional deprivation should be targeted, as well as
making child poverty a priority budget issue to increase allocation of funds
and expenditures on child poverty reduction.

It called for intensified public health
education and campaigns on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding during the
first six months of a child’s life while increasing community engagement and
behavioural change campaigns to promote positive parental and caregiving
attitudes and practices.

The Report said investment in the provision
of affordable and quality early day care centres for working mothers,
particularly women in the informal sector, must be prioritised to enable them
to effectively combine their economic activities with child care
responsibilities.

It said public investment towards the
provision of low cost social housing must be increased for accessibility by
poor and deprived households.

Household access to information and
communications technology and services must be promoted through the
establishment of community ICT centres, especially in rural and deprived areas.

Meanwhile, child poverty is measured using
the dimensions of wellbeing that reflects the needs and rights of Ghanaian
children, the Report indicated.

The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who
delivered the keynote address at the launch of the Report, expressed the need
to identify and implement interventions to contribute to the eventual
eradication of child poverty.

“We need to break the cycle of
inter-generational deprivation, and develop the capacity of children to make
successful transition through to adulthood”, she said.

Every child deserved to have access to good
nurturing, nutrition, health, education, water, sanitation and general
well-being.

“These are all critical building blocks for
child development, without which we cannot derive the expected dividend in our
human development. We need to deal with inequality from its root,” she said.

Ms Anne-Claire Dufay, the UNICEF Country
Representative, said the Report would be a useful source of data and evidence
for advocacy and policy making, while serving as a good reference for many
sectors of the economy to reduce child poverty in Ghana.

She said the country had shown much interest
in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 1, the target that sought to
reduce multidimensional poverty by 2030 to 36. 7 per cent, by launching the
Report.

GNA

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