Payment of LEAP beneficiaries begins

Accra, June 8, GNA - The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has begun the payment of the 71st and 72nd cycles cash grant to households benefiting from the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme.

A statement from the Ministry and copied the Ghana News Agency said beneficiaries of the payment, which started on Monday, June 7, would, consequently, receive double amounts.

LEAP, one of the flagship social protection programme of the Government, seeks to reduce extreme poverty by providing cash grants to targeted households to smoothen their consumption and promote access to other social services for long-term human capital development.

The LEAP Programme is expected to contribute to the achievement of national and sustainable development goals.

The statement said the amount paid to beneficiaries was based on the number of eligible members in a household and thus not equal for all the beneficiaries.

“One eligible member-household receives GH? 64 and two eligible-member household GH? 76. Then three eligible-member ones get GH? 88, while four and more eligible member- households receive GH¢ 106. For this payment, LEAP beneficiaries will be paid double,” it explained.

The cash grant is often paid bi-monthly to beneficiary households at designated pay points in their communities and the premises of the participating financial institutions through e-zwich, a platform provided by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).

Mr Myles Ongoh, Acting Director of the LEAP Programme, advised beneficiaries to either count their monies before leaving the pay point or ask their community volunteers to assist them to do so.

They should also request for their payment transaction receipts because it was their right to be given one.

Mr Ongoh advised the beneficiaries to invest it in their nutrition and other productive activities and not to give out the money for any other reason.

He said Government had contributed immensely to the development and expansion of the Programme.

“We must also acknowledge the continuous support that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection receives from UNICEF; Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO); and the World Bank for the LEAP Programme,” he said.

Mr Ongoh said the support received by the Programme from stakeholders was spearheaded by the leadership.

Mr Richard A. Nartey, Head of Payment of LEAP, said the payment process involved the mobilisation of beneficiaries to the designated pay points by Community Volunteers and District Social Welfare Officers (DSWOs) in all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

Colson Akanbasiam, the Head of Communication, LEAP, said at each pay point, beneficiaries were expected to be sensitised by the DSWOs on key messages of the programme, as well as topical issues such as the COVID 19 protocols and the need for members of LEAP households to avail themselves for vaccination when it was their turn.

Mr Akanbasiam emphasised that beneficiary sensitisation was critical because it created awareness, empowered and stimulated behavioural changes towards achieving the objectives of the programme.

Madam Gloria Garba, Head of Case Management, urged beneficiaries and other stakeholders who had grievances, concerns and complaints to report to their Community Volunteer and DSWOs.

She said they could also contact the LEAP Management Secretariat or the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection through the toll-free line 0800800800 or 0800800900.

Mr Thomas B. Quaison, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation, LEAP urged stakeholders especially, the DSWOs, to undertake their usual monitoring and evaluation of the payment exercise in their districts to ensure the continuous improvement of the implementation of the Programme.

“The monitoring and evaluation process is expected to be enhanced and all DSWOs will be using the electronic-reporting platform that has been deployed via their tablets,” he added.