Nana Oye Lithur, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said the government under the National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) is implementing a number of pro-poor interventions through different Sector Ministries.

Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection addressing the media and looking on are some Directors and staff of the ministry
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection addressing the media and looking on are some Directors and staff of the ministry

This, she said, is to ensure effective and efficient coordination in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and to achieve value for money.

Nana Oye Lithur made this known at a media briefing on the upcoming 34th cycle payment of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme for November and December 2014.

LEAP is a flagship of Government?s Social Protection Interventions that supports three main categories of extreme poor and vulnerable populations namely Orphans and vulnerable children, severely disabled persons without a productive capacity and the elderly poor without any source of support.

She said the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection which is mandated to coordinate these pro-poor interventions, has developed an institutional framework to be implemented at National, Regional, District and Community levels.

?The Ministry is also in the process of establishing a National Targeting System Unit which aims at developing a National Single Registry Database of the extreme poor and vulnerable which would be called The Ghana National Household Registry.

?The database will be used by all Social Protection interventions to select and enroll beneficiaries for their respective interventions?.

Nana Oye Lithur said the Ministry from January 26th to 30th, 2015 would make the maiden payment in 2015 to 89, 610 beneficiary households on the LEAP Programme out of the 90,785 households enrolled in 144 districts in all the ten regions in Ghana.

?The ministry has successfully undertaken 33 regular payments in 103 districts and 7 cycles of electronic LEAP payment to its beneficiaries in nine districts across the nation?.

She said the services of MTN, AYA Technologies and Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems were employed by the ministry to execute this task for the electronic payment, adding that Ghana Post still manages the manual payment to the beneficiaries.

The Gender Minister said: ?all outstanding arrears of LEAP grant payments have been paid and for the 34th cycle of payment, 12,594 new beneficiary households from 33 districts have been added which brings the total number of beneficiary households enrolled to receive LEAP by the Government of Ghana to 90,785.

?Out of the total number, 69,292 are women and 21,503 are men, 11, 643 are persons with disabilities, 15,600 are elderly above 65 years and 2,899 are orphans and vulnerable persons servicing 3,044 communities?.

She said 31 new demarcated districts and two new districts have also been added bringing the total number of districts with LEAP beneficiary households to 144.

Nana Oye Lithur said Ghana?s National Social Protection Strategy administered by the ministry and implemented under the Department of Social Welfare is improving the socio-economic status of the poorest households, and promoting the survival and development of their children.

She said: ?through the LEAP programme, government is improving the lives of the poor, vulnerable and excluded citizens, reducing the level of poverty in the nation, and improving their socio-economic standard of living?.

The Minister said the ministry is currently implementing the LEAP 1000 project which seeks to address child mortality and malnutrition and that all preparatory work on the roll-out of the project in the Northern and Upper East Regions has been completed.

?The ministry will start a pilot targeting programme in the Upper West region and this will eventually be rolled out nationwide?.

The Minister reiterates the ministry commitment to ensuring the protection of the vulnerable and promotion of gender equality through the design and implementation of policies and programmes which address their access to basic needs through multi-sectoral approach.
GNA

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