SEND GHANA notes with delight the commencement of payments for the 71st and 72nd cycles cash grant to beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP).
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.
It is worth noting that the 71st and 72nd cycles cash payment, which was due in March and May 2021, respectively was delayed.
This caused considerable disquiet among beneficiaries as their livelihoods have been disrupted and worsened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 5, 2021, SEND GHANA, in a press statement, 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.
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, delays and irregularities in payments present a potential setback in derailing the country’s progress towards eradicating poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
SEND GHANA wishes to emphasize that social protection is the right of citizens as enshrined in the 1992 fourth republican constitution. Therefore, the 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 bimonthly LEAP payments to ensure that No One Is Left Behind. We hope that such delays would not be repeated in subsequent payment cycles.