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USAID Population Based Survey Shows Significant Reductions in Poverty and Hunger in Northern Ghana

By Embassy of the United States - Accra - Ghana

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) presented results from its 2015 Population Based Survey during a data dissemination event in Accra, Ghana, on March 17, 2016. The survey, which is a follow-up to a survey conducted in 2012, tracks poverty and nutrition data for more than 7,000 households in 59 districts of northern Ghana. It was 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 United States.

The results are being used to monitor the impact of the U.S. government's Feed the Future Initiative in Ghana. Feed the Future works around the world to abolish extreme poverty, undernutrition and hunger. In Ghana, it 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.

Using the 2012 data as a baseline, the survey's results show that there has been significant progress in reducing poverty and undernutrition in northern Ghana. There has been an 18 percent decrease in poverty, a nearly 20 percent decrease in households experiencing moderate or severe hunger, and a 23 percent decrease in the prevalence of stunted children in targeted districts. However, the survey also illuminated ongoing issues, such as a widening disparity in wealth between male- and female-headed households and urban and rural households. USAID will be working with its partners to address these issues.

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

Events will be held next week in Tamale, Sunyani, Bolgatanga and Wa to disseminate the 2015 survey results. Under USAID's open data policy, the data from the survey will be made publicly available and structured in a way that will enable the data to be fully discoverable and usable by all development professionals working in northern Ghana.