The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, has disclosed that Government is poised to fulfil the principle of “leaving no one behind” through creating opportunities for all.
He said the Government is addressing issues of child marriage and teenage pregnancies, lack of access to distance learning services for rural children, inadequate data on Persons with Disability to better understand and contextualise their social and economic needs, youth unemployment that affects more women and inadequate pensions coverage for the aged.
Addressing these areas of priorities, he noted, would also facilitate the country’s progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The NDPC Chairman made the disclosure during a presentation of Ghana’s 2nd Voluntary National Report (VNR) at the 2022 United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York.
He said the adverse impact of COVID-19 had brought attention to the importance of expanding social protection programmes.
“In view of this, Government is paying attention to some priority areas such as education, health, employment and gender empowerment to reduce social and economic risks, and vulnerability,” he reiterated.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour further revealed that Ghana had witnessed the pandemic significantly eroding some of the development gains made over the last decade.
“Although Ghana’s poverty rate is estimated to have increased from 23.4 in 2017 to 25.5 percent in 2020 owing to the scaling down of economic activities due to the pandemic, government birthed initiatives to curb it.
“Government introduced the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) Programme through which a GH₵100billion facility is made available to businesses,” he added.
This, he indicated, would mitigate the impact of the pandemic in order to stabilize, transform and build resilience against future pandemics, adding that “the YouStart Initiative which aimed at creating jobs for the youth and supporting youth-led enterprises with loans”.
He noted that the progress made by government demanded more efforts to scale up sustainable solutions.
To improve on the progress made so far on the achievement of the SDGs, Prof Gyan-Baffour implored United Nations (UN) member states to cooperate and solicit for accurate data to facilitate the achievement of the SDGs.
“A multi-stakeholder partnership for innovation and resource mobilization, the establishment of an effective link between planning and resource allocation, availability of quality data and the coordination of the UN Country Team support would improve our progress made in achieving the SDGs”, he added.
The VNRs provide an opportunity for countries to review progress made towards the achievement of the SDGs, share their experiences, including successes, challenges, and lessons learned, with the view to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
The VNRs are presented at the HLPF, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.