89,610 To Enjoy LEAP

A TOTAL of 89, 610 households in 144 districts across the country are to benefit from the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme next week.

Out of the number, 69, 292 are women and 21,503 men, living in deprived communities as well as 11,643 disabled persons, 15,600 elderly persons and 2,899 orphans and vulnerable persons.

The beneficiaries will be given various sums of money to support themselves under the programme which is a government’s social protection intervention to assist extremely poor and vulnerable people in the Ghanaian society.

Speaking at a news conference in Accra, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, said all arrears of LEAP grant payments had been paid to their respective beneficiaries.

She said the government was improving the lives of the poor, vulnerable and the marginalised, while reducing the level of poverty in the country through the programme.

“Beneficiary households and individuals have been able to provide for their needs and have access to education, health and food. Beneficiaries have also had some capital to start small-scale business ventures for sustainable income to ultimately move out of abject poverty,” she said.

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Nana Oye said 12,594 beneficiary households had been added to the programme from 33 districts bringing the total number of households enrolled on LEAP to 90, 785.

She said the LEAP programme was currently serving 3,044 communities across the country.

The minister said the government, under the National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS), was implementing a number of pro-poor interventions through different sector ministries to ensure effective and efficient coordination in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and to achieve value for money.

Mrs. Lithur said the ministry had developed an institutional framework to implement the pro-poor interventions at national, regional, district and community levels.

She said the ministry was also in the process of establishing a national targeting system unit which would aim at developing a national single registry database of the extreme poor and vulnerable.

“The database will be used by all social protection interventions to select and enroll beneficiaries for their respective interventions,” she said.

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She said the ministry was currently implementing the LEAP 1,000 project which sought to address child mortality and malnutrition. All preparatory work on the roll-out of the LEAP 1,000 in the Northern and Upper East regions has been completed.

The Minister said the ministry was committed to ensuring the protection of the vulnerable and promotion of gender equality through the design and implementation of policies and programmes which address their access to basic needs through multi-sectoral approach.