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Politically connected people hijack LEAP, school feeding programme, deny beneficiaries – ActionAid findings

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Research conducted by ActionAid Ghana has it that people who are politically connected are enjoying most of the government’s social protection programmes that exist in neglect of the beneficiaries – the most vulnerable. 

Social protection programmes in Ghana include the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and other pro-poor policies that provide access to financing to vulnerable women.

These policies were instituted with the mandate to lessen the financial burden of persons living in extreme poverty environments and empower them for an inclusive society. 

 Unfortunately, the Communications Manager of ActionAid Ghana, Esther Ohenewaa Brown, has expressed regret that people who are politically connected and can fend for themselves, are rather benefiting from these pro-poor policies to the neglect of the most vulnerable. 

“We observed that most of the social protection schemes that currently exist, it is not the vulnerable who are accessing it, but the politically connected who already might have the means to take care of themselves are the ones accessing these social protections.”

Ms. Brown was speaking during a media engagement held in Bolgatanga for selected journalists in the Upper East Region on decent work and social protection. The training was held under the Northern Ghana Integrated Development Project with funding from the European Union in Ghana.

Ms. Brown stated that these political actors are taking undue advantage to enjoy the social protection schemes because of the vulnerability of the beneficiaries.

“The LEAP is supposed to target people who don’t work, like the aged, the vulnerable. But when we spoke to the people, the farmers in the various communities we conducted this research, we observed that they don’t even know where to go or when the fund is released, they don’t have access to that social protection scheme. So, what it means is that it is more like a caucus that is having access to that social protection scheme. Through the research, we observed that the beneficiaries don’t even know to whom the LEAP is being given.”

Per the findings of research conducted by ActionAid Ghana on the social protection programs in the country, the Communications Manager added that most vulnerable persons “are unable to access the National Health Insurance because they go there and they are unable to get the right response and there is no level of motivation for them to go back”

She said the research recommendations were for agencies like the Social Welfare Department and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to “run an assessment of the beneficiaries of these social protection schemes to be able to identify the gaps and amend them”

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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