The attention of the LEAP Management Unit under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has been drawn to a publication on your website www.ghanaweb.com on Thursday, 28th January, 2016, titled ‘NDC begins distribution of Mahama textiles for votes’. The reporter is Ekow Bondzie of ‘The Catalyst’.
In the said publication, the reporter stated among others that the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has instructed the addition of a piece of cloth to the sums of money given to each of the beneficiaries under the LEAP Programme. The reporter also indicated that the 389 care givers are on LEAP payroll and a total of 989 beneficiaries of the programme were each given a piece of cloth, in addition to the Gh¢180.00 they received.
We wish to state that the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has not issued any instruction for a piece of cloth to be added to the sums of money given to beneficiaries under the LEAP programme. The publication is therefore a fabrication without any shred of truth and should be treated with contempt and utterly disregarded.
It is also not true that pieces of cloth are “being distributed to the LEAP beneficiaries in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District”. The only thing that was “distributed” is money being the cash benefit to LEAP beneficiaries and this can be verified.
Since the inception of the programme in 2008, the LEAP Programme has done 40 payment cycles as at January, 2016. Nowhere has non-cash grant been given to the beneficiaries or their care givers. The programme only gives out cash grants to its beneficiaries for the purpose of smoothing consumption among them.
Other facts quoted in the publication in terms of beneficiary numbers and the amount of cash grant per households are wrong. There are 793 LEAP households and 1,928 individual household members in the Asikuma Odeben Brakwa District and not 389 caregivers and 989 individual household members as reported.
The amount of cash grants given to the beneficiary households varies depending on the number of eligible category or group per household. One eligible member household receives Gh¢ 64.00, two eligible member households receive Gh¢76.00, three eligible member households receive Gh¢88.00 and four or more eligible member households receive Gh¢106.00 and not a flat figure of Gh¢180.00 as reported. These amounts are received every two months.
The LEAP Programme will continue to focus on its core mandate to reduce poverty among the extremely poor and vulnerable households in society by providing them with cash grants for their livelihood and will not be distracted by any unfounded reportage. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection remains committed to its bipartisan role to ensure that poverty, no matter where it is found, is eliminated in all its forms.
We therefore request that this rejoinder is given the prominence it deserves just as it was reported on your platform.
Issued by the LEAP Programme
Department of Social Development
Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP)