Auberon Jeleel Odoom, Executive Director of Inclusive Ghana, addressing the media on the delayed leap payment. Picture: CALEB VANDERPUYE
Auberon Jeleel Odoom, Executive Director of Inclusive Ghana, addressing the media on the delayed leap payment. Picture: CALEB VANDERPUYE

Delay in LEAP disbursement worsening hardship of beneficiaries — SDG Platform Convenor

The Convenor of the Civil Society platform, SDG Sub platform Goal 10, Auberon Jeleel Odoom, has said the four months delay in the disbursement of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) grants is exacerbating the hardships vulnerable Ghanaians face. 

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He explained that despite the government’s commitment to promptly pay these grants as a condition of the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout negotiations, the process remains disappointingly sluggish.

“This delay has left vulnerable Ghanaians, including the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children, very poor pregnant women and lactating mothers with infants under 1 year, and persons with severe disabilities without productive capacity, in dire straits amid cost of living increasing by 15 per cent over the past year, and food prices rising by 20 per cent. “This highlights a significant breach of trust and duty by the government, “he said at a press conference in Accra yesterday.

Call to action

Mr Odoom, therefore, called on the government to honour its commitment to pay the LEAP grants. “Immediate action is required to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable Ghanaians and to restore confidence in the government’s social protection initiatives.

The delayed LEAP payments represent not only a breach of trust but a pressing humanitarian crisis.  “As inflation continues to rise, the government must prioritise the needs of its most vulnerable citizens and expedite the disbursement of these crucial grants.

This is not just about fulfilling a promise made during bailout negotiations; it is about upholding the dignity and well-being of Ghanaians who depend on this support to survive,” Mr Odoom noted.

Consequently, the SDG Sub platform Convenor said the  timeliness of LEAP payments was also critical to achieving the programme’s positive social and economic objectives.

Furthermore, he said the issue transcended political and economic debates; stressing that  it touched on the core of human dignity and the right to a basic standard of living. “The elderly, orphans and vulnerable children, and persons with severe disabilities deserve better. They deserve a government that honours its commitments and puts their needs first.

Anything less is a betrayal of trust and a failure of leadership. “The delayed payments are particularly detrimental as they coincide with a period of increasing inflation and economic instability.

 Evidence shows that regular, predictable cash transfers that keep pace with inflation and are delivered over an adequate period can play a crucial role in enhancing household resilience to future shocks.” Mr Odoom stated.

Elderly

On the part of the  elderly beneficiaries, Mr Odoom said the LEAP grants were a lifeline. “These funds are often their only source of income, enabling them to purchase food, medication, and other essential items.

 The delays, which have stretched to as long as four months, mean that many elderly individuals are forced to make impossible choices between eating and buying medicine. This is not just a financial issue; it is a matter of dignity and survival,” he said.

Orphans, vulnerable

Mr Odoom said LEAP grants would support their education, nutrition and basic needs. “When these payments are delayed, the ripple effects are profound. Children may miss school because their guardians cannot afford school fees or supplies, and their health can suffer due to inadequate nutrition.

“This undermines the very purpose of the LEAP programme, which is to break the cycle of poverty by investing in the most vulnerable members of society,” he said.

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