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Extreme poverty and vulnerability experiences on urban highways in Ghana: assessing social protection policy responses| Abstract

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Extreme poverty and vulnerability experiences on urban highways in Ghana: assessing social protection policy responses

Abstract

Prince Osei-Wusu Adjei, Dacosta Aboagye and Thomas Yeboah

Extreme Poverty and vulnerability remain crucial developmental challenges that have in recent times attracted the attention of both government and non-governmental organizations as the world strives to actualize the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) by 2015. However, even with radical social policy measures, many developing countries continue to grapple with urban highway poverty and vulnerability manifesting in the forms of ‘streetism’, child labour and people with various forms of disability whose daily survival strategy has been highway beggary. This study was conducted in Southern Ghana with the principal streets of Kumasi, the second largest city of Ghana as the case study to ascertain the extent to which existing social protection programmes are impacting extreme poverty and vulnerability pervasive on city highways of Ghana. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques including focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, frequencies, percentages and cross tabulations were methods used for collecting and analyzing relevant data from the study area. The study found that susceptibility to diseases, low level of education, robbery, sexual abuse and accidents are major risks strongly associated with the extremely poor and vulnerable groups living on urban highways. Significantly too, low level of awareness, perception gaps and lack of political will, make social protection programmes suffer from inadequate targeting of the poor and vulnerable groups living on urban highways in Ghana.

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