World Bank applauds Ghana’s social intervention programme

 The World Bank has commended Ghana’s social intervention programme to reduce extreme poverty in the country.

The bank noted, for instance, that the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme had improved access to health care, school enrolment, and nutritional levels among beneficiary households.
The commendation was given when a team from the World Bank visited some beneficiary districts and communities of the programme on Monday.
Under the LEAP programme, cash and health insurance were provided for extremely poor households across the country.
Its objective is to alleviate short-term poverty and encourage long-term human capital development.  
It was launched in 2008 as the flagship programme of the National Social Protection Strategy and is funded by the government of Ghana and supported by the World Bank and the British Department For International Development (DFID).
The group was led by a Senior Social Protection Economist of the bank, Mr Suleiman Namara, and included officials of the ministries of Gender and Social Protection, Local Government and the Finance, and the DFID.
They visited Dorploame in the South Tongu District in the Volta Region and Ada in the Greater Accra Region to evaluate the effectiveness of the newly introduced electronic payment system of the programme by the Gender Ministry.
Mr Namara said the visit was a World Bank implementation mission to access progress of the programme.
He said impact evaluation studies of the bank had revealed that the LEAP programme had a great impact on the poor, adding that the mode of selection of beneficiaries was genuine.
He lauded the ministry for the introduction of the e-payment system, onto which 161 districts have been enrolled, with about 20 others to be added.

42nd cycle LEAP payment
The visit by the World Bank teamalso marked the 42nd cycle LEAP payment to 364 households in Ada and Dorploame.
The Manager of the LEAP programme, Mr Dzigbordi Kofi Agbekpornu, urged beneficiaries to make judicious use of the money.
He also encouraged them to engage in businesses that would improve their standard of living.
Some of the beneficiaries the Daily Graphic randomly spoke with said the programme had reduced their financial burden.
A beneficiary at Dorploame, Ms Stella Donkor, said the money she received was used for farming, fishing and paying the school fees of her children. 
A widow, Mrs Mercy Ashiamor at Anyanam, Ada, said she was ejected from her home after the death of her husband but with the help of the LEAP programme she had been able to rent a room and kept her five children in school.
She said she achieved all that by engaging in petty trading with the LEAP money she received.
The team also paid a courtesy call on the District Chief Executive Officer for South Tongu, Mr Samuel Mawuko Eworyi, who called for the programme to be expanded.