Samuel Akumatey, GNA
Ho, Sept. 14, GNA - SEND Ghana, a development oriented Not-for-profit organisation has called on government to release funds to complete payment of beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Programme (LEAP) under the 60th payment cycle.
A statement signed by Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, Country Director, SEND Ghana, made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said approximately 30,000 LEAP households with over 125,000 beneficiaries in ten districts across the country were not paid their grants under the 61th bi-monthly payment cycle which was in June 2019.
The release said the development negatively affected relief efforts for citizens living in extreme poverty, as well as the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The development, in our respectful viewpoint, is unfortunate, a potential setback to Ghana’s poverty reduction efforts, and a derision of the country’s quest for the attainment of the SDGs 1, 2 and 10 in particular.
“For citizens who are living in extreme poverty and who count on LEAP’s regular income to address their basic needs, delays in payment of their bi-monthly cash transfer poses serious threats to their survival and human dignity.
The Organisation said it was aware the programme was undergoing an expansion, and that it should not be a reason for the “delays and persistent inconsistencies” in payments.
“Send Ghana is fully aware and acknowledges the recent expansion of the LEAP programme to cover more beneficiary households, which we consistently advocated, but that cannot be accepted as a justification or reasonable grounds for the delays and persistent inconsistencies that characterised the disbursement of funds for the smooth implementation of the programme”.
The Organisation said it was unfortunate, reasons for the delays were not “effectively” communicated to beneficiaries, making way for “speculation, acrimony, and anxiety among LEAP beneficiaries as noted by some social welfare officers”.