Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has reiterated government’s commitment of expanding social protection to the less privileged in society.
According to the minister, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme is one of the flagship programmes of social protection which government is keen on seeing to its success.
“The government of Ghana is committed, this is a flagship of our social protection programs, as a government, we have budget allocation, we have financial and human resources for this programme”, she stated.
Briefing the press on her impressions after monitoring the expansion of the LEAP exercise in Nima and Sabon Zongo in the Greater Accra Region, the Minister hinted that there was the need to continue to with the public education on LEAP through the media. She noted that the Department of Social Welfare will scale up with the sensitization for all to be aware of the LEAP programme.
Nana Oye revealed that 60,000 households has being added to the Programme and for the first time Nima, Sabon Zongo, Ashaiaman , Mamprobi, La-dadekotopon, Ledzokuku and Tema Newtown.
“Throughout we are going to be operating in a144 districts in Ghana, presently we have approximately 90,000 households and we are scaling up by 60,000 so by September we will be paying a 150,000 household. By 1st of September, we will add another 50,000 household. We have approximately 30 districts that are not on LEAP at all, but we will add them by September. We have budget allocation and financial resources to sustain this programme.
She was accompanied on the LEAP monitoring by a high powered delegation from the ministry, which included two of her deputies, Dela Sowah and John Alexander Ackon; Kwesi Armo Himbson, Chief Director of the Ministry and Mawutor Ablo, Director of Social Protection. Others were Mrs. Comfort Asare, Director of Social Development and Dzigbordi Agbekpornu, Programme Manager of LEAP.
The entourage visited Nima CDR, Nima 419, and Sabon Zongo, where they inspected the enumeration exercise and targeting of additional LEAP households.
The team also paid separate courtesy calls to the tribal Chiefs of Nima and Sabon Zongo to inform them of their mission in their communities.
The exercise is part of the ministry’s exercise of adding 60,000 new beneficiaries onto the LEAP programme across the 144 districts in the country. The government has targeted 200,000 LEAP beneficiaries at the end of the year. Currently, the LEAP has about 90,000 beneficiaries.
According to Nana Oye the Greater Accra region will see new communities rolled onto the LEAP, adding that the extreme poor in communities and tows such as Nima, Sabong Zongo, Mambrobi, La-Dadekotopon, Ledzekuku, Ashaiman and Tema New Town will all benefit.
“Throughout we are going to be operating in 144 districts in Ghana, presently we have approximately 90,000 households, and we are scaling up by 60,000, so by September we would be paying 150,000 households and from September, we would add on 50,000 additional households”, Nana Oye stated.
Nana Oye explained that there are some thirty districts in the country that are not on LEAP at all and that by September those districts too will enjoy the LEAP, reiterating that government is committed to see its success.
She said with support from the World Bank and DFID, the LEAP will be successful at the end of the day, saying it is her expectations that, the beneficiaries would d use their LEAP allowances prudently.
“For the children in the households must go to school, we are going to be stricter with that, secondly, all the children receive immunization, that is also very critical, and then we are working with the National Health Insurance to ensure that they are registered on the NHIS free of charge”, she stated.
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