President Mahama to launch first-ever social protection policy
President John Mahama is set to launch a new social protection policy claimed to be the first-ever in Ghana and Africa.
Gender and Social Protection Minister Nana Oye Lithur revealed on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday, the policy details how the government would respond to poverty believed to be affecting two out of every 10 Ghanaians.
Nana Oye Lithur outlined five interventions which are expected to address the concerns of the vulnerable in society under the new policy.
They are Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Labour Intensive Public Works, Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) and Capitation Grant
The programme which gives monthly stipends to support the most vulnerable households has been expanded from 1,600 beneficiaries in 2008 to more than 147,000 in 2016.
She revealed that there are 2.2million extremely poor people in Ghana from 350,000 households.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has also disbursed the stipends to over 6,000 pregnant women in the Upper East and Northern regions.
Under the NHIS, the elderly aged 65 and above are identified as vulnerable and are registered freely on the insurance scheme.
In the three regions of the north, over 10,000 elderly persons have been registered. The ministry has also registered 11,000 prisoners across the country to access health insurance.
Under the Labour Intensive Works, farmers and farm hands who have no work to do when the planting season is over, can get construction jobs with the Local government ministry.
Ghana School Feeding Programme
The GSFP is a social intervention by government started in 2005 to help boost enrolment in public basic schools and the nutritional needs of basic school children. The policy was meant to provide one nutritious meal each school day for all infant and primary school children from 4 -12 years.
Government has now moved the programme from under the Local Government Ministry to the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection. There are currently over 1.5 million pupils on the school feeding programme. The ministry says it hopes to increase the number of beneficiaries to three million by the end of this year.
The five main programs branch out into 44 interventions undertaken by the Gender and Social Protection Ministry.