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LEAP should include the able-bodied people as well – Beneficiary

A beneficiary of the LEAP program has stated that the managers of the support scheme should extend their graces to people with the energy to start businesses with the money.

Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) is a program set up by the Ghana government in 2008 to support families and individuals described as extremely poor.

William Niyuni who is the Deputy Director of LEAP described extremely poor families as a household that cannot afford one square meal a day on the total income of the household.

According to the director, the category of people who qualify to benefit from the program includes households with: orphans, vulnerable children, people 65 years and above and people with severe disabilities and without productive capacity.

The amount given to such beneficiaries have been increased over the years and as of 2017 the figures stand at GHS64 per household if there is one eligible beneficiary, GHS76 if there are two eligible beneficiaries, GHS88 for three and GHS106 if there are four or more eligible people in the household and the money is paid every other month.

Most of the beneficiaries at Apapa a community at Labone in Accra who spoke on the Joy FM Super Morning Show on Tuesday when the programme was taken to the community, expressed pleasure about the existence of the scheme but wanted the money increased.

One beneficiary who spoke on the programme said she spends GHS50 on utilities and is left to with GHS14 which is not capable of doing much.

Another beneficiary said her father who the grant is meant for, spends more than the grant money on medications so the money should be either increased to GHS200 or the present amount be paid monthly.

Another beneficiary who spoke took a different stance when she said since the money is meant to help lift beneficiaries out extreme poverty, old and weak people like herself should be overlooked and the money given to able-bodied people who can actually use the money for a startup.

Apapa in Labone was strategically chosen for the programme because it is said that the gap between the poor and rich gets wider and Labone is a community for the affluent and just across the road is Apapa which is an extremely deprived community so such an area pictures the idea behind the scheme.