The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme has, this year, targeted at least 35,000 extremely poor households with social cash transfers. This is to assist them to meet basic needs and reduce their vulnerability to risk and shocks, said a report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises laid in the House yesterday.
The committee report, based on the 2009 budget estimates of the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, said the government's role-out plan is to scale up the programme in the next five years to reach roughly 164,000 households nationwide.
The committee noted that LEAP, as a component of the National Social Protection Strategy, targets orphans and vulnerable children through their caregivers, the aged (above 65 years and without subsistence or support) and persons with severe disabilities without productive capacities.
It said LEAP provides cost – effective conditional and unconditional subsistence grants on a graduated payment scale of approximately GH¢8.00 – GH¢15.00 per month to extremely poor households that have been targeted.
The report said in addition to its planned roll-out activities, LEAP also responded to food crisis with an emergency programme and increasing food prices in the floods affected areas in the north.
By the end of 2008, LEAP had reached out to over 8,000 households across 54 districts on regular LEAP while 15,000 households under the Emergency Programme were also supported.
The committee says expert's analyses confirm that the LEAP will cost less than one per cent of GDP to implement and is therefore a sustainable pro-poor intervention.
Meanwhile, Parliament yesterday approved budget estimates of some ministries, departments and agencies.
They are: Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning – GH¢146,681,167.00, Electoral Commission - GH¢7,091,990.00, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice – GH¢4,206,832.00
Also approved by the House were the budget estimates of the National Commission for Civic Education – GH¢5,044,605.00 and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, - GH¢113,045,554.00