The Government has announced its plans of expanding the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to cover more extremely poor and vulnerable people in the country, whilst taking steps to review other social protection programmes for efficiency.
Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta who announced this during the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presentation to Parliament on Thursday, November 24, 2022, said the expansion in the grant of the social intervention programme from GH¢41.75 per household to GH¢95.19 bi-monthly is to carter for the needs of beneficiaries while improving their well-being.
“Government is committed to expanding coverage to all 2,500,000 extremely poor individuals as estimated by the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS 7) by 2024. While improving efficiency through digitalization and assessment, the government will, in 2023, increase the value of the LEAP grant from the average of GH¢41.75 per household to GH¢95.19 bi-monthly,” he said.
The LEAP programme provides cash transfers to very poor people, particularly in households with orphans or vulnerable children, the elderly, and people with extreme disabilities.
Established in 2008, the programme is to support the poorest families in Ghana to better meet their basic needs, prioritize health, enroll children in school and improve their attendance, increase savings, and also work and invest more to pull themselves out of poverty.
Currently, it supports 1.5 million extremely poor Ghanaians from 344,023 households across the country while providing support for the elderly aged 65 and above, severely disabled, who are unable to work, or caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children.
The Minister maintained that the expansion of the programme, will have a long-lasting impact on the development of the human resource base of the country giving the assurance that government remains committed to raising the living standards of the vulnerable and poor in society and would do all within its power to realize this objective.