Ghana has been lauded for its social development policies and programs at the ongoing 57th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development.
Ghana, Zimbabwe, Peru and Palestine were selected on an inter-ministerial panel to share their program and challenges of growth with other nations aimed at achieving the 2030 target of ending all forms of poverty amongst others indicators.
Cheik Niagi of the Bureau of the Commission for Social Development, while commending the nations on the ministerial panel urged them to share their experiences and lessons to attain the global targets.
Marking the event on the theme, ‘Addressing inequalities and challenges of social inclusion through fiscal and social protection policies,’ he disclosed that half of the world's population is cut off from social protection.
Government has spoken of its preparedness to lay four bills before parliament for passage.
These are the School Feeding, Affirmative Action, Social Protection and Aged Persons bills to promote inclusive economic growth.
Ghana's delegation led by the Gender Minister, Cynthia Morrison, who highlighted the gains the country has made under some of its flagship programs like the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), which has expanded to benefit about 1.7 million individuals.
This according to the minister, has already improved school enrollment by 12 per cent among other deliverables in economy and agriculture sectors.
Ghana and the World Bank will soon implement a graduated LEAP which will focus more on coaching, mentoring and skills support for beneficiaries as both an exit and economic sustaining projects.
In addition to this, a labour intensive work, aimed at providing temporary employment for over 167,000 workers will expand the those at the lower end of the social system excluded from the existing employment system.
Currently, Ghana's social protection programs such as Planting for Food and Jobs, Free SHS is showing evidence of bridging the inequality gap and improving inclusive development, the Minister said.
Mrs. Morrison did not mince words on the funding challenges faced by the country and the threat this poses to the sustainability of these programs.
She says even though 90 per cent of her ministry's budgetary allocation is spent on social protection programs, more funded is needed from donor partners.
Zimbabwe's Minister for Public Service and Labour, Irene, Nzenza said her government had been more radical in social development by imposing tax regimes to raise the money to fund social inclusion projects.
She cited a call time tax of five per cent to supply antiretroviral drugs to HIV persons and food assistance to over 600,000 households.
She said despite their initial challenges, Zimbabwe has made tremendous gains resulting in ownership of land by women growing to about 29 per cent of women who hitherto were cut off.
Representatives from the International Labour Organisation, European Union read statements of progress so far.