By Cecil Mensah
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has said that it was working to change the name of Social Welfare to Social Development, in line with the social protection policy to alleviate poverty.
The name if changed, would take care of the coordination and complementarities across the implementing agencies; role of political leaders, fiscal space and fiscal sustainability, legal framework, granting public interest and support, as well as ensuring impact on poverty and growth.
The sector Minister, Madam Nana Oye Lithur , joined by Mr Joseph Amenorwode , the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Social Welfare and State Enterprises and Susan Ngongi, the UNICEF Country Representative, made this known at the launch of the various social protection intervention programmes, under the theme: Social Protection as a Tool for Poverty Reduction in Accra.
She said, the new department would now handle all issues relating to social issues in the country.
She added that all the needed inputs have been submitted to Cabinet for finalization on the change of name and all the relevant documentation.
She explained that this was included in the establishment of the Ghana National Social protection Strategy to achieve Ghana poverty goals by facilitating the design, implementation and monitoring of a variety of social protection programs at the poor.
According to her, this will ensure a social protection floor, where all Governments will assist the extremely poor by providing a buffer against various risk and shocks.
She maintained that it was in view of this that a high level delegation of senior Government officials left for Brazil on March 31, 2014 to discuss the issue of social protection with the Brazilian Government to play a role in the development of the model in Ghana in collaboration with the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF).
According to her, Ghana currently runs forty four social intervention programmes; namely the Livelihood Empowerment Against poverty (LEAP), Free Uniforms, Capitation Grant, Labour Intensive Programme, Local Enterprise Development Programme (LESDEP), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) National Youth Employment, and Block Farming among others.
She said of all the social protection intervention, LEAP is the most effective transfer schemes in Africa that is no longer implemented on pilot basis with nationwide coverage.
She noted LEAP as it stand caters for over seventy three thousand households and the Ministry is hoping to achieve eighty thousand households by December this year.