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One thousand one hundred and forty-two beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP) in the New Juaben Municipality have started receiving arrears of money owed them.

The money, which covers the months of November/December 2012, had been collected by the aged as well as mothers from poor households at the Koforidua Zongo Community.

They were given between GH?48 and GH?90 by personnel of the Department of Social Welfare.

The exercise, which started at about 8.15 a.m at the Zongo Community Centre yesterday, was supervised by the Deputy Minister of Children, Gender and Social Protection, Ms Benita Okity-Duah.

Beneficiaries in other communities in the municipality are to receive their share by the close of this week, according to the New Juaben Director of Social Welfare, Mr Gyamerah A. Dankwah.

A number of the frail-looking aged women and men were taken to the centre with the help of their children, while those who looked a little stronger made their way to the place with walking sticks.

Mothers, both young and old, also carried their children to the centre to collect their dole.

Addressing the beneficiaries prior to the commencement of the exercise, Ms Okity-Duah, apologised for the late payment and promised them that the government would settle this year?s payment by September.

She recalled that the initiative started in 2008 with about 1,800 poor households but currently, ?there are 70,000 poor persons benefiting from the programme?.

To curb delayed payment, she hinted that plans were far advanced to make the payment electronic and that this would be decentralised.

?Your upkeep and welfare are of utmost concern to the government and we will do everything to ensure the success of the programme?, the deputy minister added.

Ms Okity-Duah appealed to the beneficiaries to put the money to good use and reminded those who had not yet registered under the national insurance scheme to do so.

A 91-year-old beneficiary, Madam Fatima Mamem, thanked the government for the money, which she stated, had come at the right time to enable her solve a few challenges facing her.

Source: Daily Graphic

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