By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

The Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) will increase the number of beneficiaries of Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) in the under privileged parts of the country.
Honorable Nana Oye Lithur Minister of Gender made the statement at the third edition of the Federation of Zongo Ladies Educational Forum at Nima Social Center in Accra
The LEAP Program is a social cash transfer program which provides cash and health insurance to extremely poor households across Ghana to alleviate short-term poverty and encourage long term human capital development.
LEAP started a trial phase in March 2008 and then began expanding gradually in 2009 and 2010. As of July 2013, the program had reached over 70,000 households across Ghana with an annual expenditure of approximately USD20m. Currently the number of beneficiary households has increased tremendously.
The program is funded from general revenues of the Government of Ghana (50 percent), donations from DFID and a loan from the World Bank. It is the flagship program of Ghana’s National Social Protection Strategy and is implemented by the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) in the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP).
According to the Minister, Research has shown that the LEAP program is improving school enrolment in beneficiary communities? adding that the capitation grant and the school feeding programs are aimed at reducing the burden of poor women especially single mothers and widows. She said over 1.6 million pupils are fed with one hot nutritious meals a day.
Along with the capitation grant, the abolition of school fees and provision of free school uniforms and exercise books in disadvantaged regions, school enrolment, attendance and retention have increased by 80per cent.
The good interventions have resulted in narrowing the gender gap in enrolment in schools explaining that the current literacy rate stands at 68.5 per cent for women as compared to 80.2 per cent for men
The minister said education is a priority sector for the government especially at the basic level. That is why the government is working to improve the quality of education through the use of social intervention programs that directly impact education.

Source: Executive Director
EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
244 370345/ 0264370345/0208844791 [email protected]/[email protected]

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