The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has made double payments to beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) as part of the efforts to mitigate them during COVID-19 Pandemic crisis.
Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the sector Minister disclosed this when she addressed 701 beneficiaries in Agona West to brief them about the intent of the government to ease their burdens amid the deadly disease.
She said plans were far advanced to supply them with face masks, sanitizers, and other PPE to protect them against the virus.
The LEAP was instituted by former President J. A Kufuor’s government to support the aged and the vulnerable to help fight poverty among those in peri-urban and rural areas to enable them to improve their standard of living.
Each beneficiary is given between GHc 64 and GHc140 paid every quarter of the year.
Mrs Morrison said the government has paid all debts owed the beneficiaries from January to June this year which covered two quarters and the next payment would soon be made in July this year to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the pandemic on them
She stated that the government was seeking more support from its development partners to expand the number of beneficiaries nationwide.
The Minister took the opportunity to take them through COVID-19 protocols outlined by the President and Ghana Health Service as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
Mrs Morrison urged the beneficiaries, especially the aged, to be extra careful about their diet and encouraged them to eat local foods and fruits to boost their immune system to withstand or avert the disease.
She said the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection was working with the Ministry of Health to supply Vitamin (C) tablets to all LEAP beneficiaries and have their National Health Insurance cards renewed.
Madam Mercy Siaw, Central Regional Director of Social Welfare urged the beneficiaries to invest the money received in profitable income-generating ventures.
She cautioned them against engaging their children in child labour which was against child rights, assuring them that the government was doing everything possible to support them to enhance their living standards.
Madam Siaw called on the beneficiaries to restrict the movement of their children amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Myles Ongoh, Director of LEAP Programme commended the Minister of Gender for the hard work and commitment towards the prompt payment to the beneficiaries.