About 500 poor and vulnerable individuals from 157 households from the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region have began receiving allowances from the government under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty programme (LEAP).
The disbursement, which started on Wednesday at the Ndasemam pay point, saw the beneficiaries receiving between GHC64 and GHC74 depending on the number of people in each household.
Gender and Social Protection Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba, noted there are a total of10,000 beneficiaries in Central Region alone under the LEAP programme.
Ms Djaba said GHC16 million has been earmarked for the disbursement across the country 213,048 households under the programme, which currently covers 216 districts.
She said the programme would be extended to all districts by December this year.
The minister said government intends to complement the cash transfer component of LEAP households with skills development to help people out of poverty.
She said the ministry is working on skills training (development) modules for beneficiaries with the view to equipping them to wean them off the programme gradually.
The training, she explained would be based the needs of the beneficiaries or a district.
Ms Djaba noted that households with women as heads would be targeted, adding “as government, we have plans to refocus the LEAP programme to ensure that it does not become a source of political patronage”
In this regard, she said they would adopt effective and accurate testing to identify and enroll deserving beneficiary households for the skills training module.
She also said the programme would roll out adult education to beneficiaries so they can learn numeracy skills to have control over their money and accounts.
LEAP, one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry commenced in 2008 and formed part of six interventions in the social protection basket.
LEAP is a cash transfer programme for the extremely poor and vulnerable households which had orphans and vulnerable children, persons with severe disability without any productive capacity, elderly persons 65 years and above, pregnant women and children under two years.
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