USAID survey finds reduced poverty, hunger in Northern Ghana

USAIDThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says results from its 2015 population-based survey show a significant reduction in poverty and hunger in Northern Ghana since 2012.

According to a statement from USAID, the survey which tracks poverty and nutrition data for more than 7,000 households in 59 districts, showed an 18 per cent decrease in poverty, a nearly 20 per cent decrease in households experiencing moderate or severe hunger, and a 23 per cent decrease in stunting among children in the targeted districts.

The survey is said to have been conducted in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service, the University of Cape Coast, and the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University in the US.

According to the statement, the results are being used in monitoring the impact made in Ghana by the US government’s Feed the Future Initiative which works to abolish extreme poverty, malnutrition and hunger around the world.

In Ghana, the initiative works to increase agricultural productivity, boost the harvests and incomes of smallholder farmers, improve nutrition, bolster agricultural research and development, and increase resilience in the north.

Despite the positives, USAID said the survey also revealed some issues that the agency needs to address with its partners such as a widening disparity in wealth between male and female-headed households, and urban and rural households.

“This data has potential to improve policy making and programme design, and to enable us and other stakeholders to more effectively reach the people who are most vulnerable. It will allow us to fast track the pace of development in northern Ghana,” Kevin Sharp, Director of the Office of Economic Growth at USAID Ghana was quoted as saying.

USAID said it will make data from the survey publicly available in line with its open data policy.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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