The government’s intent to end poverty in its entirety was made evident last Monday when the Gender Ministry launched a comprehensive document dubbed, “National Social Protection Policy, which is meant to ensure effective and efficient coordination of the implementation of the social protection programmes in the country.
The Policy also seeks to mitigate vulnerabilities, close the inequality gaps and ensure total inclusion for all Ghanaians as outlined in Goal number of the SDGs.
SDGs are a bold commitment to end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030. This involves targeting those living in vulnerable situations, increasing access to basic resources and services, and supporting communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters.
In an address at the launch, the Minister for Gender Children and Social Protection, Hon. Nana Oye Lithur, said government, through legal and policy arrangements, has established strong systems and structures to protect the most vulnerable and excluded persons in society.
The Social Protection Policy covers initial social intervention programmes such as the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP), Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) programme, Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and EBAN Elderly Welfare Card Project.
The policy, she said, signifies the commitment of the country’s social democratic government to put people at the heart of social protection commitments.
Nana Oye Lithur commended the Social Protection Working Group for how instrumental they have been in the journey to come up with the National Social Protection Policy.
The Minister announced that government has developed a Social Protection Bill that is currently with the Attorney-General’s Department for consideration. The bill, she said, will build further on the policy.
She added, “The bill and policy will go to strengthen our legal environment, creating a stronger social protection framework that empowers and protects all citizens,” she added.
On his part, the Minister of state in charge of Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Dr Rashid Pelpuo, who spoke on behalf of the President said the policy aims at empowering the vulnerable to achieve greater development of the economy.
Stemming from the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) One of eradicating extreme poverty, he said, the policy is a governance structure with the ability to co-ordinate social development goals.
“This policy sets us on the path in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG),” he noted.
By Mohammed Suleman, – Public Agenda