Ghana government extends programme against poverty to 55,000 people
Mr Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere,the Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, on Monday said the government had extended the Livelihood and Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme from 35,000 people to 55,000 this year.
He said the budgetary allocation for the programme had accordingly been increased from GH¢ 7.5 million last year to GH¢ 12 million this year.
Mr. Sekyere said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency to highlight some social mitigation programmes the government had embarked on to ameliorate the plight of the poor, vulnerable and physically challenged persons.
He said every individual beneficiary would receive a monthly allowance between GH¢ 8.00 and GH¢ 15.00 depending on one’s level of poverty and the family size, particularly in the rural areas.
The Deputy Minister also announced that the government was compiling a single register for the extremely poor and disadvantaged in society to draw up a comprehensive budget to address their issues in subsequent years.
“With a single register on all the deprived persons in the country, the government will be in a better position to support and source funds from the appropriate quarters to ensure that the underprivileged in society enjoy some comfort.”
Mr Sekyere said the government had also drawn up other complementary pro-poor programmes such as free feeding for poor school children, free school uniforms and payment of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) premium for the poor.
He mentioned United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), UK Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) as some of the development partners that were working round the clock to eradicate poverty in the country.
On employment in the country, the Deputy Minister who just returned from a conference in Kariba, Zimbabwe, said Ghana, like all member countries of the International Labour Organization (ILO), would establish a comprehensive National Employment policy to mainstream job creation.
He said social protection of workers in their jobs and their families, building of labour market and the resourcing of labour agencies were some of the paramount issues discussed at the symposium.
He gave the assurance that government would work hard to comply with all the demands of ILO to ensure better working conditions for her workers.