The Caretaker Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah yesterday led a team to monitor the payment of social cash grants under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme at Oboadaka in the Eastern Region.
LEAP is a social cash transfer programme for the poorest households in Ghana with the goals of reducing poverty by smoothening consumption and promoting human capital development.
The monitoring followed the release of a total of GH¢54.7 million to be disbursed to 344,389 beneficiary households nationwide as social cash grants under the LEAP programme.
The disbursement is for the 77th and 78th cycles, meaning all beneficiary households – constituting more than 1.5 million individuals – would receive double the regular bi-monthly grant.
In view of this, one eligible member household would receive GH¢64.00; two eligible members, GH¢76.00; three eligible members, GH¢ 88.00 while a household with four and more eligible members would get GH¢106.
The category of persons who make a household eligible are orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC); elderly (65 years+) without support; persons with severe disabilities who cannot work and very poor pregnant women and mothers with infants under one year.
The amount of money paid [through e-zwich] is not the same for all households benefitting from the programme. The amount paid to a household is determined by the number of eligible household members.
Ms Dapaah said government was resolute to assist the vulnerable in spite of the hackles the country was faced with.
She urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the monies they had been given and pray for the government and its leadership for consistent supply.
Ms Dapaah said the sector minister was also in the north regions, monitoring payments and advised persons who took grants on behalf of the aged to be truthful to them and take good care of them and children they are obliged to.
“We have not had issues of inaccuracies in the process, so we all should have mutual respect, trust and integrity in the process. So if you receive more than you should, please return it,” she added.
Ms Dapaah used the opportunity to call on the Ghana Police Service to see to the arrest of the man alleged to have beaten a two-year old to unconsciousness in a viral video, adding that the ministry would soon issue a statement of condemnation on the incident.
Mr Kwadwo Agyei, a beneficiary of the programme who is 86 years and received GH¢64 as monthly grant commended the government but pleaded with it to increase the amount to cushion him and his family.
“My children are not inclusive of the grant and this is my only source of income since I stopped farming so the government should add up to help us,” he added.
Another beneficiary, Gifty Kwakye, said she used the previous grant to start her “oblayo” business which was doing well and was supporting her family.
She expressed gratitude to the government and urged it, to continue to support others who needed the grant.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR#