GSS Index finds 24.3% of Ghanaians are Multidimensional Poor

Suleman Adamu Sanid – GSS

Of the 30 million Ghanaian citizens some 24.3% are said to be multidimensional poor. That is to say they are deprived simultaneously in four or more poverty indicators, according to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).

The GSS made that known during a three-day capacity building workshop for MPs Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development on Ghana’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and Statsbank held in collaboration with the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs.

The MPI is data collected on health, education, living conditions and unemployment by the Ghana Statistical Service to determine the level and intensity of poverty in the districts. 

The GSS Statsbank is a database for accessing disaggregated census statistics, and it contains over 300 million unique statistics from published 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) reports. 

Dr Faustina Frempong-Ainguah, the Deputy Government Statistician, said the objective of the workshop was to enhance the capacity of Members of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development to play a role in effective prioritisation and inclusion of all disadvantaged people within the planning process at the district level as well as monitor the implementation of district annual plans.  

This in effect, she noted, would contribute to enhancing the Committee’s appreciation of the value and contribution of data to decision making as well as improving the committee’s capacity to influence planning and conduct effective oversight at the local level using data, a major outcome area of the Data for Accountability Project (DAP) II.  

Mr Omar Seidu, Social Statistician, GSS, in his presentation, noted that the GSS household population study findings indicated that out of the 30 million Ghanaians, 24.3 per cent of the population was Multidimensional Poor; “which means that this 24.3 per cent are depraved simultaneously in four or more indicators, and so they are classified to be Multidimensional Poor.” 

He said that the 24.3 per cent aggregated to about 7.31 million people. 

“Now when you look at this 24.3 per cent who are Multidimensional Poor, almost 44 per cent of them are in the depth of poverty, which means that their deprivation cuts across in multiple dimensions at the same time; so they maybe poor in the dimension of health, employment, education,” he stated. 

Mr Suleman Adamu Sanid, the Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, and New Patriotic Party NPP Member of Parliament (MP) Ahafo Ano North, described the GSS 2024 Multidimensional Poverty Index as worrying and scary. 

He said: “The numbers we are seeing today are revealing and a bit scary. 

“At a casual observation, this clearly tells you that there are a lot of poor people in the country. We need to interrogate the data and find out why the interventions we have put in place over the years have not given us the results we want. We need to ask the right questions. The figures are worrying.” 

Mr Benjamin Komla Kpodo, Deputy Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, and National Democratic Congress (NDC) for Ho Central, appealed to the GSS to educate Ghanaians on how to  interpret and use the data.  

Touching on the MPI report, Mr Kpodo appealed to the Government to intensify its efforts aimed at eliminating poverty throughout the country. 

Source: GNA 

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