Over 35,971 beneficiaries from 21,000 households in the Upper East Region under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty ( LEAP) are expected to receive their bimonthly stipend third week of January.
Mr Hamidu Harruna, the Regional Social Welfare Director, said the beneficiaries were spread over the 13 districts of the Region and had received regular remittance paid from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection bimonthly.
Mr Harruna who spoke to the Ghana News Agency in an interview reiterated the significance of the LEAP remittance in the Upper East Region, especially its role in supporting the aged, orphaned and people with disabilities in extreme poor conditions.
He noted that the Region was one of the poorest in the country and the intervention of LEAP provided the needed support to beneficiaries who had no support of any other kind.
He said out of 35,971 beneficiaries, 17,689 of the number formed the aged group, 17,978 beneficiaries were orphaned and vulnerable children and 10, 600 were people with disabilities from the 13 districts.
Mr Harunna giving a breakdown of beneficiaries in various districts indicated that 2,558 beneficiaries were supported in Builsa North District, 6,350 people benefitted in Kassena Nankana, while there were 634 beneficiaries in the Bolgatanga Municipal.
According to the Director,1,050 people benefitted under the LEAP in the Talensi District, 8,206 in the Bongo District, 859 beneficiaries in Nabdam and 9,498 in Bawku West whilst in the Garu District 7,250 beneficiaries benefitted and in the Bawku Municipality 445.
He said 3,584 beneficiaries were supported in Buisa South District, 1,862 beneficiaries in Pusiga District and in Binduri District, 3 145 people received LEAP support.
He said his outfit in 2016 increased registration of more vulnerable people due to the high poverty levels in the Region and called for an expansion of the programme to include more vulnerable people in five districts including the Binduri and Builsa North Districts, Kassena Nankana Municpality, and Bolgatanga Municipality.
He called for more complementary services in addition to the free National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) provided the beneficiaries to reduce their financial challenges.
He also called for improved internet connectivity in the districts to enhance payments which were done through mobile money and E-zwich among others.
The LEAP programme which was launched in 2008 is a social cash transfer programme adopted by the previous government to provide cash and health insurance to the extremely poor households across the country to alleviate short-term poverty and encourage long-term human capital development.
The programme is currently administered by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and managed by the Department of Social Welfare and is funded by the Government of Ghana and supported by the World Bank and DFID with technical support from UNICEF’s Social Protection Unit.