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General News of Tuesday, 20 September 2016


Oye Lithur’s claim on LEAP beneficiaries at manifesto launch unverifiable

The NDC party launched its 2016 manifesto in Sunyani, last Saturday in the Brong Ahafo Region.

President John Dramani Mahama made some claims at that event. Two of such claims were fact-checked by our team of fact-checkers. Both claims were found to be half-truths.

Below are the claims he made, the fact-checking verdicts and the basis for the verdicts.

Claim 4: In 2008, they registered a 1,640 households. As we speak today, H.E. President John Dramani Mahama has registered 217,000 households under LEAP.

Verdict: Not Verifiable

Explanation: LEAP is a social cash transfer program which provides cash and health insurance to extremely poor households across Ghana to alleviate short-term poverty and encourage long-term human capital development.

Implementation of LEAP has been inconsistent. Over this 24- month evaluation period households received only 20 months’ worth of payments.

LEAP eligibility is based on poverty and having a household member in at least one of three demographic categories: households with orphan or vulnerable child (OVC), elderly poor, or person with extreme disability unable to work (PWD).

The difficulty in verifying this claim lies in the conflicting figures put out by different government sources and the lack of an up-to-date data source. In the conclusion section of the Budget Statement presented to Parliament on 13th November, 2015 by Hon. Seth Terkper, the government claimed to have “expanded the LEAP programme to cover over 190,000 households”.

However, on the official website of the implementing ministry; the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), the number of beneficiary households was reported to have “increased from 1,645 in 2008 to 146,074 (185 districts) as at 31st December 2015”.

If the number of beneficiaries have been increasing, the question that one might ask is how the number of beneficiary households under the programme was 43,926 more as at November, than the number reported as at 31st December, 2015.

Additionally, the claim of 217,000 households currently registered under the LEAP programme could not be verified from any publicly available source by the team.