Policy research and advocacy organization, SEND Ghana, has commended Government for paying two-cycle cash grants it owed beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP).
The 71st and 72nd cycles cash payment, which was due in March and May 2021, respectively delayed, causing considerable disquiet among beneficiaries as their livelihoods had been disrupted and worsened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
SEND Ghana, in press statement issued on May 5, 2021, drew the government’s attention to the growing concerns among the public, including LEAP beneficiaries on the implications of the delayed payments and, thus, called for its urgent intervention.
The Organisation, in a statement issued and signed by Dr Emmanuel Ayifah, Country Director, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, lauded the Government for heeding the call.
“We wish to applaud the government and the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection for heeding the call of the poor and vulnerable people who count on LEAP cash grants to address their basic needs,” the statement said.
Evidence suggests that LEAP is contributing to reducing extreme poverty among beneficiary households and facilitating beneficiaries’ access to complementary services, such as health.
That notwithstanding, the statement explained that delays and irregularities in payments presented a potential setback in derailing the country’s progress towards eradicating poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
It emphasised that social protection was the right of citizens as enshrined in the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution, therefore, government’s effort at fulfilling such rights must be seen as a constitutional obligation and should be given utmost priority.
“Whilst commending the government for paying the two-cycle grants, we urge them to keep to their promise of releasing funds in a timely fashion for the bi-monthly LEAP payments to ensure that No One Is Left Behind.
“We hope that such delays would not be repeated in subsequent payment cycles,” the statement added.
LEAP is a cash transfer programme introduced by the Government of Ghana (GOG) in 2008, for extremely poor and vulnerable households with the aim of reducing poverty by increasing and smoothening consumption and promoting access to services and opportunities among the extremely poor and vulnerable.