Beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme are asking government to release their stipends as soon as possible.

They are paid between ¢64 and ¢106, an amount many have criticised as inadequate to support people at the bottom of the income ladder, mainly disabled and aged and sick people.

But the beneficiaries have complained that their woes have been deepened as recent delays and the bi-monthly payments have brought hardship to some of them.

Speaking to JoyNews, a single parent of four children and a caregiver for a 90-year-old woman, Nicholina Armah described her ordeal as a very difficult one.

“Life is tough for me, there are days I stay indoors and cry, there are too many problems, living alone is tough so just consider me living with these children and responsibilities,” she said dolefully.

Madam Armah had been hoping that funds from the LEAP programme would be increased to reinvest in her dressmaking business.

“This month, the money has been delayed, but we are waiting for it.”

The leader of the beneficiaries in James Town, Mercy Okine, said there is a need for the funds to be increased.

“The money is not enough to take care of the aged. So we really want the stipends to be increased. As you can see the situation and the problem on the ground what we receive now is woefully inadequate,” she said.

Attempts by JoyNews to get response from the LEAP Secretariat has been unsuccessful as beneficiaries continue to sit in a long painful wait.