Poverty in Ghana

Research of poverty in the northern regions of Ghana

Poverty is a rigid reality in Ghana, especially in the northern part of the country. Statistics from the “Ghana Living Standards” survey (2007) show, that 18.2% of the ghanaian population are “extremely poor" and therefore cannot even afford their staple foods. The phenomenon of poverty is recognized as even more serious and life-threatening especially in the secluded villages in the north because in those areas poverty is more spread. According to data from the Ghanaian Department for Statistics (2004) the north is one of the three poorest regions of Ghana: 7 of 10 People live below the poverty line. Rural poverty also includes other different topics such as education, health, infrastructure, generation of income, etc.

In line with fulfilling the Millenium Development Goals until 2015 (especially poverty reduction), in 2007, the government of Ghana created the National Social Protection Strategy – “Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty" (LEAP) to serve as a stepping stone. After five years of implementing the pilot project there was no signification reduction of poverty in the implementing areas.

One of the poorest districts in the northern region of Ghana; the Tolon/Kumbungu District, was used for a case study for research work. The research in case had a duration of two weeks. From the total amount of 19 recipient communities, the interviews  were held in 4 of the communities. In total, 60 probands were interviewed – within them 5 members of the LEAP implementation commitee in the district (DCLIC), 15 members of the LEAP implementation committee on community basis (CLIC), and 40 recipients of LEAP, who were selected from the four communities.