Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection said Government would expand beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) from 71, 456 to 150,000 by next year.
She said the LEAP grants helps the beneficiaries to meet their basic needs, get access to education, health, food and provide them with capital in starting small-scale business ventures for sustainable income.
Nana Oye Lithur made this known at Devenu in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region where she observed and supervised the LEAP payment to beneficiaries from 110 households in nine communities by Ghana Post Company on Friday.
The programme is a social intervention that involves the provision of cash transfers and health insurance to the poorest households in Ghana and targets people who have no alternative means of meeting their subsistence needs and have limited productive capacity.
The payment is supervised by the Department of social which is under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Nana Oye Lithur said LEAP helps Government to improve the lives of the citizens and increase socio economic standards in the country.
She said the Ministry is committed to ensure that the vulnerable, excluded, aged and persons with disability can also contribute their quota to national development.
She said as part of efforts to ensure efficiency and reduce cost, the cash payment are being migrated into electronic payment and are being piloted in nine districts with three companies namely MTN, Aya Technologies and Ghana Interbank Payment System Solutions.
Nana Oye Lithur thanked the development partners comprising Department for International Development, UNICEF and the World Bank for facilitating the programme.
Nana Oye Lithur paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Keta, Togbe James Ocloo V and expressed Government’s appreciation to the people for their support.
Madam Susan Dongo, Country Representative of UNICEF said: “I had an opportunity to interact with the beneficiaries and some of them say they invested their money in farms, their children’s education and in petty trading.”
She said this means that the programme has benefited the beneficiaries and the impact is great.
Mr Sylvester Tornyeavah, Keta Municipal Chief Executive said the Assembly has made strides in promoting and safeguarding the welfare and the participation of women in social, political and economic developmental process in the municipality.
He said a number of less fortunate people have benefited from the programme and appealed to the Ministry of Gender to increase the beneficiaries in the municipality.
Madam Faustina Borkloe, Municipal Director of the Social Welfare said there are 26,000 beneficiaries from 27 communities in the area.
Madam Letsu Afafa, a beneficiary and a petty trader said the money she takes is used to promote her business, adding: “I have a sick mother and five children and the business I put the money in is used to take care of my children and my sick mother.”
The LEAP programme was started in 2008 by former President John Agyekum Kufuor with 1,654 beneficiaries’ household in 21 districts.
It has expanded to 71,456 beneficiaries in 98 districts.