The Ghana government on Saturday re-launched the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme with an increment on the current grant of GH?12 to GH?36 per month for poor households around the country.

The LEAP Programme is a social cash transfer programme which provided cash and health insurance to extremely poor households across the country to alleviate poverty and encourage long term human capital development.

The launch was on the theme: ?Protecting the extreme poor, vulnerable and excluded: Our collective responsibility.?

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, speaking at the launch in Accra, said the initiative was not meant to keep households on the programme forever but support them come out of poverty.

He said it was important to have a social protection strategy that could help the country improve on the lot of its citizenry for national development.

Vice President Dramani said the LEAP was aimed among other things, at improving the basic consumption of beneficiary households by increasing school enrolment, attendance and retention of children, as well as improving on livelihood income-earned activities.

He said the programme has benefited over 68, 502 households in 94 districts.

The Vice President noted that the programme has targeted to reach 200,000 beneficiary households in 170 districts in the country by 2015.

He commended the efforts of donor partners to support Ghana to alleviate poverty from the citizenry.

Mr Moses Asaga, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, said vulnerability and deprivation has given policymakers a comprehensive understanding of poverty at various levels of economic and social well-being, hence the interventions.

He said it was against this background the government has developed the National Social Protection strategy which is aimed at creating an all inclusive and socially empowered society through the provision of sustainable social interventions for persons living in extreme poverty.

?These interventions constitute a composite of social protection programmes which are carefully designed to bring their aggregate impact to bear on extreme poor households and improve their living conditions,? Mr Asaga added.

Source: GNA


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