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General News of Monday, 27 March 2017


Sam George wants poor residents in rural Accra to benefit from LEAP cash

Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram says the extent of poverty and depravity in rural Greater Accra is heart wrenching and the government must do something about it.

Sam George is therefore appealing to government to increase the coverage of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme so that residents in these places can benefit.

His comment on Newsnite follows a documentary by Joy News' investigative journalist Kwetey Nartey which revealed how some women are trading their children for money.

The women, out of need, sell out their children for paltry sums. These children are then led into commercial activities most of which are dangerous to their health and development.

They are mostly denied their rights to education and other fundamental rights enshrined in the Child Rights Act.

Sam George said it is "heart breaking that in the 21st century such sordid stories of people selling their children for money will happen."
He however blamed the situation of child trafficking on lack of proper supervision by the police service.

According to him, in many of the rural areas, there are no child protection units that will safeguard the interest of children.

"Monitoring is a challenge," he stated and called for increased supervision by the Police Service.

Sam George is however calling for the root cause of the problem to be solved and that problem is economics.

He said in Obom, Domeabra, and many other areas in rural Accra, poverty is so entrenched government must do something.

He said the LEAP, as it is now, is just a drop in the ocean and would want government to increase the coverage.

The programme which currently covers about 116,000 households across the country will be increased to 250,000 this year.

Under the LEAP programme, bi-monthly cash grants were disbursed to a total of 116,000 households in 180 districts across the 10 regions of the country.

“In 2016, government will improve the targeting of the LEAP while expanding it to cover 250,000 households”, Mr Terkper said during his presentation of the 2016 budget.

The new Gender Minister Otiko Djaba has begun the distribution of the LEAP cash to the beneficiaries.