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Ministry To Increase Coverage of LEAP   
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Nana Oye Lithur
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Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has said 100,000 beneficiaries would be covered under the Livelihood Empowerment Programme Against Poverty (LEAP) before the end of the year.

So far, the LEAP Programme covers 72,000 beneficiaries across the nation, with each beneficiary receiving cash transfer of GH¢ 24.00 monthly. The LEAP Programme is a government social intervention cash transfer to the poorest households in the country. It aims at empowering the extremely poor, disadvantaged, disabled and the vulnerable population.

Speaking during a tour to some selected beneficiary communities in Accra on Monday to hand out money to beneficiaries, Nana Oye Lithur, said the Ministry intends to increase the number of beneficiaries to 150,000 by the end of 2014. The communities visited by the Minister included Sea View Hotel Centre at Jamestown and Chemuena Centre at Chorkor, all in Accra.

At the Sea View Hotel, 104 beneficiaries benefited with each receiving GH¢ 96 to cover payment from January 2013 to April 2013. At the Chemuena Centre, 161 beneficiaries also received GH¢ 96 each to cover January 2013 to April 2013.

Beneficiaries of the Programme nationwide would receive their moneys from the 14th to the 18th of October 2013. Nana Oye said the Ministry would endeavour to pay extra four months arrears to the beneficiaries before the year ends.

She said the Ministry was putting in place the needed measures to ensure that money were not handed over directly to the beneficiaries but rather put on a card such as the e-zwich in order to avoid the temptation of misusing the funds.

She said government has implemented approximately 25 social intervention programmes aimed at assisting, empowering and enhancing the capacity of the pro-poor. “The LEAP Programme falls under the social protection mandate of the Ministry which focuses on empowering the vulnerable, aged and persons with disabilities”, she said.

“This also complements the vision of the Millennium Development Goal 1 which is aimed at reducing extreme poverty”, she said.

She said through the LEAP Programme, many households have had their needs catered and had access to education, health and food, adding that some people have also been able to venture into small scale businesses for sustainable income.
Source: GNA

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