Multi-Structure Approach Vital In Poverty Reduction – Nana Akomea
Multi-Structure Approach Vital In Poverty Reduction – Nana Akomea Website
Nana Akomea, Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment (MMYE), on Thursday said strategies targeting poverty reduction should be multi-structured with different interventions to improve the chances of access. He said when a country adopted only one strategy it would end up not reaching out to many vulnerable groups who really needed that intervention. “Various poverty alleviation measures would have various degrees of targets, impact, or incidence. It is not all poor families who may have a young beneficiary of the National Youth Employment Programme or Capitation Grant or school feeding.” Nana Akomea, who took his turn at the meet-the-press series said government therefore was pursuing another major Social Protection intervention – Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) to complement relief measures for categories of poor people in society. The LEAP pilot programme, funded by DFID and UNICEF with support from the government would be implemented nationwide from this year to 2012 in the form of Direct Cash Transfers. He said in 2007, government allocated 20 billion Ghana Cedis in the budget to support the programme and has earmarked another 220 billion for the 2008 roll out. The total cost of the five-year programme was estimated at 26 million Ghana Cedis, amounting to less than 1 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Amounts to be disbursed monthly ranged from eight Ghana Cedis to 15 Ghana cedis depending on if the extremely poor household also has an orphan, severely disabled person, and persons aged over 65. Nana Akomea said the selection of households would be done using Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS) data, district poverty maps and the regional distribution of extreme poor so that the poorest regions would be fairly represented. “Beneficiaries would be assisted over a period to build socio-economic capacity to cater for subsistence needs. While on the programme LEAP beneficiaries, targeted households would be linked with other livelihood promotion services from other MDAs to sustain their livelihood beyond the LEAP, “he added. The LEAP was designed by a team of local and international experts who had designed and implemented similar programmes in other developing countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Turkey. The design was done through a participatory and consultative process involving Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Development Partners and the Centre for Social Policy Studies of the University of Ghana and subsequently reviewed and validated by relevant stakeholders. Mrs. Oboshie Sai-Cofie, Minister of Information, cautioned Ghanaians to desist from being cynical about programmes aimed at improving people’s livelihood and urged them to rather give constructive alternatives to help solve the problem at the grassroots.