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Government adjusts LEAP cash upwards

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Nana Oye Lithur - Minister, Gender, Children & Social Protection
Nana Oye Lithur – Minister, Gender, Children & Social Protection

Government has approved the upward adjustment of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) grant to improve conditions of beneficiary households and alleviate poverty.

With effect from Monday, September 28, one member households which received GH₵48.00 previously will now receive GH₵64.00, two member households which received GH₵60.00 will receive GH₵76.00, while three member households will get GH₵88.00, from a previous GH₵72.00.

Nana Oye Lithur, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, who announced this at a press conference in Accra, said four or more member households will now be paid GH₵106.00, and assured all of government’s commitment to put in measures that would make life comfortable for the vulnerable in society.

She said the Gender Ministry, which has an oversight responsibility over the programme made a case for upward adjustment of the grant to Government, which was approved, noting that 50,000 new beneficiaries were being added from 184 districts.

Nana Oye Lithur said the Ministry was on track to hit the 200,000 beneficiary household mark by December this year, which would translate into at least 800,000 individuals.

The Gender Minister noted that LEAP was having positive impact on poverty alleviation in Ghana and commended the government for its continuous commitment and support.

She said a research conducted by the University of Carolina and the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research has revealed that LEAP has increased school enrolment among secondary school-aged children by seven per cent, and reduced grade repetition among both primary and secondary- aged children.

Among primary school children, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty has reduced absenteeism by 10 per cent, she added.

She said the study estimated that every, one Ghana Cedis transferred to a beneficiary family has the potential to increase the local economy by GH₵2.50.

The impact of the cash transfer on the local economy is therefore likely to significantly exceed the amount transferred to beneficiaries.

Nana Oye Lithur said to further strengthen the programme, the Ministry would conduct a national evaluation exercise in 2016 to assess its impact.

“Full electronic payment will also be rolled out next year. The procurement process for the electronic payment is underway,” she added.

The Gender Minister announced that another aspect of the LEAP programme is on the verge of implementation – LEAP 1000, which is targeted at pregnant women and children under two, to tackle malnutrition and stunted growth.

“We are again glad to announce that payment to beneficiaries of LEAP 1000 will also begin next week. Some 6,006 beneficiaries of LEAP 1000 in three districts in the Upper East, and seven in the Northern Region will benefit from the first payment,” she said.

The LEAP aims at providing a safety net for the poorest and most marginalized groups in Ghana.

A total of about 90,000 beneficiary households in 144 districts were paid their social cash granted in June this year.

Soiurce: GNA

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