Tamale, Ghana – The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, with support from UNICEF and USAID, will launch the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) 1000 project. This cross-sectoral initiative incorporating nutrition, economic growth, governance, and gender is breaking new ground in promoting resilience among vulnerable populations in the Northern and Upper East regions. USAID will fund the $12 million project. The Government of Ghana will implement the program with the support of UNICEF over 4.5 years (2014 – 2018). LEAP 1000 has enrolled approximately 28,000 extremely poor households in the northern regions of Ghana.
Designed to fight extreme poverty and stunting in Ghana, LEAP 1000 is a social cash transfer program which provides financial support and health insurance to extremely poor households across Ghana. It will alleviate short-term poverty and encourage long term human capital development. The program is designed to prevent stunting, underweight and general malnutrition among children during the first one thousand days of their lives, from pregnancy to two years. Primarily targeting households with pregnant women and with children under 12 months old, LEAP 1000 is a modified component of the national LEAP program and will be active across 10 districts.
LEAP 1000 will emphasize capacity building and accountability, including support for the development of a national e-payment system. The program partners will evaluate the effect of the cash transfer program on household incomes, economic resiliency, impacts on nutritional decisions, and outcomes for beneficiaries, as well as the lasting economic effects.
USAID Mission Director, James Bever, thanked the partners for, “answering the moral imperative that is ending extreme poverty within a generation.”
USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency working to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. Since 1957, USAID has supported Ghana in increasing food security, improving basic health care, enhancing access to quality basic education, and strengthening local governance to benefit all Ghanaian people.