The World Bank has commended Ghana for the successful implementation of the e-payment system under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) social grant program.
A Senior Social Protection Economist at the World Bank in Washington, Mr. Suleiman Namara, made the commendation during a monitoring exercise in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region and in Ada West District in the Greater Accra Region.
Mr. Namara led a team from the World Bank to access firsthand information on the methods of targeting of beneficiaries, the information beneficiaries have about the program, whether they receive the cash in time and how the cash benefits the beneficiaries.
He disclosed that the on-going partnership between the government and World Bank since 2010 would end in 2017 after which further discussions would take place to consider a review of the programme.
Currently, he said, government provided most of the resources while the World Bank assisted with technical support and ensured that the systems of implementation and delivery were running more efficiently.
He noted that studies indicated that LEAP beneficiaries had improved quality of life, improved access to education, improved access to healthcare and were also registered onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Mr Dzigbordi Agbekpornu, National Programs Manager, LEAP, explained that as part of the mission of the World Bank team in the country, the team was to observe the implementation of the e-payment system and then offer suggestions and advise on aspects of the program that needed to be reinforced.
LEAP is a social protection program which continues to reduce poverty among the extremely poor in Ghana.
Beneficiaries of LEAP have lauded program saying, it had helped them educate their children and boosted their farming and fishing livelihoods.
They have also expressed gratitude to government for the initiative and appealed for an increase in their cash grant and scholarship scheme for their children who aspire to attain higher education.
At Agave-Dorkploame in the South Tongu district, the 114 household beneficiaries had received their cash grants through the e-payment system and at Anyamam in the Ada West district, 250 beneficiary households in communities such as Akplabanya, Lolonya, Kablevu, Kpetitsekope, Okwesisi, Azizakpona, Wekumagbe, Aboanokope and Goi have also received their cash grants.
An expected 1, 479, 01 beneficiary households are to receive their payments nationwide.