LEAP officials should be careful in the selection of beneficiaries

The Eastern Regional Director for Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Mr Gyamerah Ahwenee Danquah has called on officials of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), to be painstaking in the selection of beneficiaries of the programme.

He urged them to work in an organized way according to strategies in the selections, so that they would be able to select the genuine and deserving persons.

Mr Danquah was speaking at a three-day training workshop for officials of newly selected districts under the expansion of the LEAP programme in the Southern Zone of the country at Bonsu.

The workshop which was organized by the DSW drew DSW district officers, representatives of district assemblies and representatives of regional directors of the department from the Volta, Western, Central, Ashanti, Eastern and the Greater Accra Regions.

Under the expansion programme, the LEAP is being expanded from the current 81 districts to cover 100 districts nationwide by the end of 2011 and the workshop was aimed at introducing participants to financial arrangements under the LEAP programme.

Mr Lawrence Azam, Deputy Director of Justice and Administration of the DSW, appealed to the District Coordinating Councils to support the officials of LEAP by giving out their vehicles to help them in their work.

He also advised officials of the programme to deploy very diligent people who will help them keep relevant and accurate data.

In a presentation, Mr Lawrence Ofori-Addo from the DSW, said government has set agenda to reduce poverty in the country in line with the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other national and international policies.

He said the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II Document mandates the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and its technical departments to introduce a Social Protection Strategies including cash transfer to support the extreme poor, vulnerable and excluded sections of the population.

Mr Ofori-Addo observed that, some of the interventions to support the extremely poor, vulnerable and excluded in particular, have already shown a remarkable progress in the country’s poverty reduction agenda.

He mentioned some of the interventions as the National Health Insurance Scheme, Public school’s capitation grant, the School feeding programme, Microfinance and the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).

Mr Ofori-Addo noted that the LEAP was intended to empower households with a combination of cash, conditionalities and linkages to existing social protection interventions.

He said the LEAP also has the potential to increase school enrolment among children in very poor households, reduce infant mortality, improve nutrition and ensure birth registration.

Source: GNA

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