NDC Manifesto Launch: Oye Lithur’s Claim on LEAP Beneficiaries Unverifiable

The NDC party launched its 2016 manifesto in Sunyani, last Saturday in the Brong Ahafo Region. Hon. Nana Oye Lithur, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection at this event made a claim about the number of LEAP beneficiaries which could not be verified by MFWA’s team of fact checkers. Below is the specific claim she made, the fact-checking verdict and the basis for the verdict.

Claim : 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. 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.

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