AT least, 213, 000 households in all 216 districts are to be paid cash grants from the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme with effect from today.
At a press conference in Accra last Friday, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, said an amount of GH¢16 million had been earmarked for the 47th payment cycle of the LEAP cash grant.
The minister said the government was in the process of refocusing the LEAP programme to ensure that it did not become a source of political patronage.
In that regard, she said her outfit was adopting effective and accurate means-testing to identify and enrol deserving beneficiary households onto the programme.
The LEAP programme, which was started in 2008, was designed not to create life long dependents but to help households to “LEAP” out of poverty.
“In this regard, we are working on skills training modules which our current beneficiaries will be taken through,” she indicated.
The minister added that: “We will continue to effectively and efficiently implement our various social protection interventions to ensure we contribute to national development through poverty alleviation.”
Ms Djaba said preliminary results from the 2016 evaluation of the LEAP programme indicated that it had encouraged social inclusion of poor households as they were able to participate fully in the economic, religious and social life in their respective communities.
And in 2016, three out of five respondents on the impact assessment on LEAP agreed that they were happy with their lives.
Responding to questions, the National Manager of LEAP, Mr Dzigbordi Agbekpornu, said the skills development exercise for beneficiaries to “LEAP” out of poverty had already started in the Upper East Region, with sponsorship from the Japanese government.