About 2,000 households in 21 districts are to receive ¢80,000 (GH ¢8) per month from the government as part of pre-testing of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme.
The LEAP, which is being implemented on a pilot basis, is part of the National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS), a social grant which seeks to provide funds on a conditional basis to extremely poor households with vulnerable orphans.
This was made known by an Assistant Director at the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Mr Lawrence Ofori-Addo, at a sensitisation forum on vulnerable children in Accra.
The forum, organised by World Education (WE) , Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), offered key stakeholders the opportunity to discuss issues concerning the plight of vulnerable children to enable them (stakeholders) to gain better understanding.
He said LEAP would supplement basic subsistence needs of the targeted groups and link them with complementary services, adding that those who depended on others for care ,for instance, orphans, vulnerable children, persons incapacitated by HIV/AIDS and/or old age, would be assisted through their care providers.
Mr Ofori-Addo stated that through such interventions, beneficiaries would be able to expand their livelihood.
“Empirical results from countries, including Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and Mexico, have provided an impetus for devising cash transfer schemes as a mechanism for addressing extreme poverty in Ghana,” he said.
The assistant director said cash transfers had contributed immensely to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) . He said that LEAP would be implemented over a five-year pilot period before a national roll out, saying that out of an estimated population of 800,000 poor households, coverage of LEAP would reach 164,370 households at the end of the pilot programme.
Story by Paul Akweterh Mensah