Dr Kwasi Akyem Apea-Kubi, Eastern Regional Minister, has stressed that the government will implement formal and informal mechanisms directed towards the provision of social assistance and capacity enhancement to the vulnerable and the marginalised.
He said for that reason, the government had initiated the process of reviewing the National Social Protection Strategy and developing a National Social Policy.
He said the measure covered the extremely poor individuals, households and communities, including those who needed special care but lacked access to basic social services and social insurance to protect themselves from risks and consequences of livelihood shocks, social inequalities, exclusion and denial of rights.
Dr Apea-Kubi was speaking at the launch of the Social Inclusion Transfer under the Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP) in Koforidua. He said the rationale for the intervention was the realization that urban communities had significant pockets of poverty that must be addressed.
He observed that for the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing by half, the proportion of people living on less than one US dollar would require investing in the poor through pro-poor interventions such as the UPRP.
“The vulnerable and the excluded segments of the population potentially reverse the gains of overall development efforts because of the tendency to take away rather than contribute to national development,” he explained.
He expressed the government’s gratitude to the African Development Bank, which brought the intervention through Social Investment Fund (SIF).
Mr Alex Asamoah, the New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, noted that the financial package being disbursed under the Social Inclusion Transfer was in two categories - conditional and unconditional cash transfers.
He said the unconditional cash transfers were monthly cash subsidy for anti-retroviral drugs for persons living with HIV/AIDS and care givers and the conditional transfers were payments for meals and transportation for the target groups (women and youth) who were willing to attend vocational skill training workshops.
He said it was also for transportation and meals for pregnant women and lactating mothers who were willing to attend ante-natal and post-natal clinics respectively and also to embark on child nutrition.
Mr Asamoah said the conditional transfer would also pay for the transportation and other basic amenities for school children at the public basic school level, who were willing to attend school regularly.
Beneficiaries were selected from the New Juaben Municipality through community sensitization programmes on the UPRP and the SIF in particular.
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