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Gender Ministry Rationalises Social Protection Interventions   
 
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19-Feb-2014  
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The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is currently undertaking a restructuring exercise to create a Department for Social Development with a division for social protection.

Meanwhile, the ministry has rationalised social protection interventions; reducing the number from 44 to 11, to make spending on social protection more effective, efficient, and sustainable at system and individual programme levels.

The interventions, include two new ones, which are Maternal Cash Benefits and Universal Old Age Pensions.

Mr Mawutor Ablo, the Director, Social Protection of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, made these known when he addressed the 52nd session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development, underway in New York, USA.

The commission is considering the situation of social groups and will adopt action-oriented policy recommendations on promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all.

Ghana is represented at the conference by an eight-member delegation comprising the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, government officials, representatives of grassroot organisations providing social protection services, the media and leaders of women’s groups.
Social protection floor

Mr Ablo explained that the rationalisation of social protection intervention exercise identified the need for the country to refine its social protection strategy; close coverage gaps and strengthen national social protection floor, ensure financial sustainability, ensure good governance and efficient administration, as well as establish an effective monitoring framework

“Ghana’s social protection floor addresses issues of access to essential health services, income security for children, income security for persons of working age, income security for older persons,” Mr Ablo said.
LEAP

Mr Ablo said an impact assessment of the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP), which was initiated in 2008 and covers over 74,000 beneficiary households revealed that the programme was reaching the poorest families and had impacted on the well-being of targeted families across the country.

The programme has contributed to a-seven per cent increase in enrollment and 10 per cent reduction in grade repetition in public basic schools, as well as a 90 per cent increase in the enrollment of the poor onto the national health insurance scheme.

Furthermore, the programme is helping to build the capacity of beneficiaries to become active participants in their communities, he stated.

“Our labour-intensive public works within one year of implementation have generated employment for over 88,867 poor persons temporarily employed with 57 per cent being female. It has, also, within beneficiary communities, enhanced rural micro-enterprise development in the form of additional livelihoods,communal spirit, social cohesion and relations, as well as access to health services, educational services, household and capital goods; reduction in seasonal migration and improved housing conditions,” Mr Ablo added.
School-Feeding Programme

In addition, over 1.6 million school pupils are fed with a hot meal on every school-going day under the school-feeding programme.

This has resulted in increased school enrolment and attendance, while retention had increased by 80 per cent. A total of 38,751 farmers are benefiting from the programme and cultivating 30,973.8 hectors of land.

Mr Ablo also indicated that the national health insurance scheme (NHIS) had registered and was providing service to a category of over 930,685 beneficiaries, namely: children under the school-feeding programme, orphanages, mentally-challenged persons, LEAP beneficiaries and other vulnerable groups.

“Our next level of implementation is to work on a social protection policy for governance and institutional structures at all levels, as well as a legislation to anchor social protection as a permanent feature of our development agenda,” he added.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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