The World Bank today, April 4, 2022 announces that it has released an amount of GH¢42 million to the Ghana government to enable it pay arrears of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme.
In a press release copied to Ghana Business News, the Bank says the funds which was released through the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project 2 (GPSNP 2), would pay two cycles of arrears—75th and 76th cycles—of the LEAP for 344,000 beneficiary households.
The LEAP programme is a cash transfer for the extremely poor and vulnerable households in Ghana, aimed to reduce poverty by smoothing consumption and promoting human capital development among extremely poor households.
The programme also aims to increase access to basic social services like healthcare through the enrolment on the National Health Insurance Scheme, as well as boost human capital by encouraging beneficiary households to enroll their school-going aged children in school.
The Bank states that per the GPSNP2 programme design, beneficiary households receive cash grants through electronic payments every two months. The cash benefit sizes differ, depending on how many persons in the household are considered eligible to receive the grant, it added.
It indicates that the benefit ranges from GH¢32 to GH¢53 per eligible beneficiary, per month.
“Over the years, the Government of Ghana has progressively increased the programme’s beneficiary reach from 1,645 beneficiary households in a few districts at initiation in 2008, to a current reach of 344,023 beneficiary households in all districts across the country. Additionally, the government has demonstrated its commitment to the programme’s implementation by progressively increasing its contribution to the programme. It is currently funding approximately 80 per cent of the total funding of the programme, with development partners’ support comprising the remaining 20 per cent,” the Bank said.
Commenting, Pierre Laporte, the World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone said, “We are happy to support in the interest of beneficiaries to assist government with the LEAP payments to avoid eroding gains made over the years and safeguard beneficiary households’ wellbeing and their resilience to shocks. These payments will be completed in April 2022 and will help cushion the government in the interim as efforts are made to identify and provide sustainable, and reliable funding for the LEAP program and social protection interventions, in general.”
The ongoing global economic challenges, which have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, have increased the economic strain domestically, leading to progressive delays in LEAP payments. This has in turn impacted LEAP beneficiaries, notably the poor and vulnerable who naturally suffer the most, the Bank said.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi