Mr John Alexander Ackon

Mr John Alexander Ackon, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said government with support from the World Bank would, in 2015, establish a National Household Centre to register extremely poor households for assistance.

Mr John Alexander AckonMr Ackon said there were so many pro-poor interventions in the county making it difficult to identify the right beneficiaries for support, stressing that the Centre would ensure accountability and transparency and avoid wrong targeting of beneficiaries.

He said this at the launch of Liberty House Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation in Accra, dedicated to providing social assistance to the vulnerable in society.

Mr Ackon commended the Foundation for complimenting government?s efforts in providing assistance to the less privileged in society.

He said government had instituted interventions like the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) which provided cash and health insurance to extremely poor households across the country to alleviate short-term poverty and encourage long term human capital development.

The LEAP programme, which started a trial phase in March 2008, had reached over 70,000 households across the country in July 2013.

He expressed concerns about some NGOs who sought for financial support from donor countries to assist the poor and ended up spending such monies on their families and personal projects.

Mr Ackon said NGOs were vital in the development of any country and urged such organisations to adhere to the mission and vision of reaching out to the poor and needy in society instead of using the opportunity to enrich themselves.

Reverend Luke Barson, Executive Director of the Foundation, said the Foundation was a Christian organisation which provided critical social assistance services to targeted people to reduce poverty.

Rev Luke said the Foundation had four strategic pillars on which its operations resolved which included the liberty care project, the liberty community project, the hope restoration project and the liberty kaya project.

He said the liberty care project targeted the poor and vulnerable children in deprived urban and rural communities for assistance while the hope restoration project focused on support for poor older persons in a form of basic supplies and counseling.

Rev Luke said the community transformation project provided water and sanitation for communities, develop common agricultural facilities and sites to create employment for the youth whilst the kaya project developed employable skills for young women engaged in ?kayaye? (head potering) within the garment industry.

He said the foundation had been in existence for 10 years and had been involved in informal and uncoordinated social assistance services to all categories of people.

He said children in many institutional homes across the country had received food aid and clothing from the foundation and selected women in deprived communities had also received assistance.

Rev Barson said this year the Foundation had spent GHc245, 000 to meet the educational expenses of some brilliant but needy students who were pursuing various programmes in the secondary and tertiary institutions across the country and gave out start-up capitals for some young people to start their own businesses.

He said the Foundation had rehabilitated portions of the road around its office in Adjiringanor in Accra and made donations of food items and toiletries to inmates of the Nsawam Medium Prisons and the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.

Mrs Cynthia Agyepong, Executive Chairperson of the Board, said the Foundation was committed to expanding opportunities for the poor and vulnerable in society as well as restore hope and dignity for older persons and mental health patients across the country.

Mrs Agyepong said according to UNICEF, there were 143 million orphans in developing countries that were exploited and abused stressing that the number in the country was ascending and needed concerted efforts to combat it.

The vision of the Foundation is to secure the freedom and dignity of vulnerable members in society and expanded community level opportunities for the reduction of vulnerability and improve community livelihoods.

Mr Shadrack Yeboah, third year student of Kumasi Polytechnic, and a beneficiary of the Foundation, commended management for supporting him financially.

GNA

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