President John Dramani Mahama says his administration has worked to expand the coverage of many social protection programmes to cover the majority of the poor and vulnerable population in Ghana.
“At the start of this administration, the number of people benefitting from these schemes was very few. Under the school feeding programme, less than 500,000 children were being fed. Under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, less than 60,000 households were benefitting.
“Few children had access to books, school uniforms and school sandals” President Mahama said in Parliament on Thursday during his last State of the Nation Address.
He said currently, the school feeding programme was better managed today under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and covered more than 1.5 million children. The LEAP programme had benefitted almost 150,000 households.
The President said those social protection schemes were introduced to cushion the poor and vulnerable in Ghana, a lower middle income country, where income disparities had widen the gap between the rich and poor.
President Mahama said the percentage of the District Assembly Common Fund meant for persons with disability had also been increased by 50 per cent while school children in public schools were receiving all their core textbooks and exercise books from government.
He said tens of thousands of children had benefitted from the free school sandals and uniforms programme.
“The introduction of the Eban card also means that vulnerable ones among the elderly receive some privileges and protection,” the President said.