SEND GHANA has appealed to government to fast track the release of social protection funds to prevent undue delays.
Addressing the media at a press conference in Accra, the Deputy Country Director of SEND GHANA, Mr. Emmanuel Ayifah said even though government has done well in providing support to beneficiaries of social protection, a lot more could be done especially releasing funds on time and also helping to fulfill the right of citizens.
He noted, “We are of the opinion that social protection is the right of citizens and that it is not a favour being done to the beneficiaries, therefore, government’s attempt at fulfilling such rights must not be done partially.”
Mr. Ayifah also added his voice to the many calls made by civil society groups and other stakeholders for government to increase the funds which they consider as woefully inadequate and cannot support the beneficiaries.
He also appealed to the government to continue to support the vulnerable in society especially people enrolled on the LEAP programme by releasing their support regularly to help them make a living.
Mr. Ayifah also lauded government effort for swiftly releasing funds for LEAP beneficiaries whose payments had been delayed in 10 regions in June 2019 payments cycle.
He said “SEND GHANA is happy to learn that, government responded favourably, and in October last month, funds were released, and payments to LEAP beneficiaries have since being completed in most parts of the regions. We highly commend the government for fulfilling its obligation to the core poor in our society”.
The Country Director appealed to government to adopt ways of releasing funds to beneficiaries of LEAP as most of them used very disturbing coping mechanisms after long delays of payments.
According to him, farmers who were dependents on these funds in purchasing farm inputs faced serious challenges while others had to also rely on some relatives for survival.”
“We would like to caution that, Ghana risks derailing the progress made in its efforts towards defeating poverty and reducing inequalities if we allow needless delays and irregularities in funds disbursement to undermine the impact of poverty reduction interventions such as LEAP,” he emphasised.