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General News
10 Million Ghanaians Live On Less Than a ¢1 a Day 11/4/2008

A study conducted by the United Nations International Children''s Education Fund (UNICEF) in 2007, has revealed that more than 10 million people in Ghana, live on less than GH¢1.00 a day, while more than 2.5 million children and families go to bed hungry every day.
Poverty is considered a critical social issue, and the root cause of a wide spectrum of other socio-economic problems.
Admittedly, its multidimensional nature and complexity in definition, poses intractable challenges in addressing it.
To help alleviate poverty in Ghana, the Millennium Development Goals/Global Call Against Poverty (MDGs/GCAP) Secretariat, hosted by the Christian Council of Ghana, is seeking to empower citizens to hold their government accountable for the attainment of the MDGs by 2015.
The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Dr. Fred Deegbe, told journalists in Accra, at a press briefing on Stand Up and Take Action Against Poverty and Inequality, that around October 17 each year, Anti-Poverty Campaigners all over the world, join citizens to undertake various activities aimed at giving voice to people, so their needs and suggested solutions could be heard at the highest levels.
It was also about creating opportunities for people to participate in the global fight against poverty, and to learn about the MDGs, he added.
Dr. Deegbe, therefore, challenged the present and successive governments of Ghana, to work towards the absolute eradication of poverty, and to achieve the MDGs by 2015.
The Programme Officer of the MDGs/GCAP Secretariat, Ms Kyerewa Akua Asamoah, called on the government to make poverty eradication a key priority, and further appealed to Ghana''s development partners, not to cut promised aid, but stay committed to helping stem poverty.
She announced that the secretariat mobilised about 1,115,520 people, including civil society organisations and individuals, at events in rural, urban, and cities in all the 10 regions of the country, as part of this year''s Stand Up and Take Action Campaign.
This represents a 953.43% increase in the 2007 number of 117,000, sending a clear message to today''s leaders of Ghana and aspiring ones, that the citizens would not stay seated, while promises to end poverty and inequality remain unfilled.
The involvement of the youth, drawn from the educational institutions (primary, junior and senior high and tertiary schools), represented over 65% of Ghana''s total number of 1,115,520.
This suggests an improved awareness of the youth about the MDGs like never before, and championing campaigns that affect their future.
Beyond this, the children in the primary, junior and senior high schools were privileged to learn and share their thoughts about the solutions to poverty, as they stood up to be counted by their teachers, Ms. Akua Asamoah explained.
She emphasised that the "Stand Up and Take Action 2008 campaign, was certainly the beginning of a new kind of action we are seeing. It is the local influencing the national. For instance, deprived children, women and peasant farmers in our villages, from the Western Region, are connecting and joining their peers in the three Northern, Volta, Central, Greater Accra and Eastern regions, to make demands for poverty to be consistently and purposefully addressed."
Globally, more than 116 million, representing nearly two per cent of the world''s population, were mobilised at events in 131 countries, as part of the 2008 campaign, and this has been ratified by the Guinness Book of Record, as having shattered the world record for mass mobilisation.
The Secretariat, through its platform members, would further be looking at stepping up their monitoring, and hold the leaders accountable to their commitment to the MDGs. The power of "Stand Up and Take Action" 2008 mobilisation, would be used as a lobbying tool, as various messages like "No excuse for 2015", "Government must be peaceful", "Make support for agriculture a reality,
"We need portable drinking water" and the many more are shared.

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