Social Cash Programme impacts lives in Bong County

UNDP and the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) launched a Social Safety Net Cash Transfer (SCT) programme as part of efforts to support national EVD recovery strategies.

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Liberia caused the death of over 4,000 Liberians and brought social and economic interruptions and hardship to a large segment of the people.

Highlights

  • In January, the UNDP and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) completed first phase payment to 2,701 beneficiaries out of the 2,981 targeted under the Social Safety Net Cash Transfer (SCT) programme.
  • Each of the beneficiaries received LD$17,600 (a little over US$200) covering four months, calculated at (LD$4,400.00 and/or US$50.00 per month).
  • At least 4,442 beneficiaries were enlisted for the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme
  • Targeted beneficiaries include people living in extreme poverty, as well as those whose sources of income have been hit by shock.

The poorest households were severely affected with livelihoods completely impaired or lost and food insecurity worsened as a result of this EVD outbreak.

In response, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) launched a Social Safety Net Cash Transfer (SCT) programme as part of efforts to support the national EVD recovery strategies.

The SCT programme seeks to extend a social safety net to stabilize the economic welfare and livelihoods of, as well as initiate a path of recovery for, households which have been directly affected by the Ebola virus and to those very poor and labor constrained households which have suffered the social and economic shocks generated by the disease.

In January, the UNDP and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) completed first phase payment to 2,701 beneficiaries out of the 2,981 targeted under the Social Safety Net Cash Transfer (SCT) programme.

These targeted beneficiaries include people living in extreme poverty, as well as those whose sources of income have been hit by shock. This is part of an effort to reduce poverty in the country and increase the standard of living.

Each of the beneficiaries, including 86-year-old Korpo Gayflor, received LD$17,600 (a little over US$200) covering four months, calculated at (LD$4,400.00 and/or US$50.00 per month).

Some of the beneficiaries have used the funds to build better homes for their families.

Upon receiving her share of the social cash in January, Korpo, like many other beneficiaries promised to utilize the fund for the construction of a house.

Korpo lives in an unplaster mud hut, roofed with zinc in Handii, Fuamah District, Bong County. The aged mother of three and fifteen grandchildren speaking through an interpreter, said she has purchased building materials for the construction project.

“I have a piece of land, I have already bought zinc, and will buy food for the boy who’s molding the bricks. I am just waiting for my daughter who is currently distilling her sugar cane to come and then we can start building the house,” she said during a post distribution monitoring and impact evaluation visit in Haindii.

The beneficiaries of the social cash programme were identified in the various communities in consultation with community leaders to ensure that the program actually reaches the targeted beneficiaries, including Ebola survivors, as well as people with disabilities who meet the criteria.   

Emmanuel Forkpah, 42, takes care of his aged mother, Yassah Forkpah in Gbarnga City, also a beneficiary of the SCT programme. “We want to say thank you to UNDP and the Government of Liberia for this social cash programme. The programme has ready helped us in improving our lives, especially my mother”, Emmanuel said.

Upon receipt of the money, Emmanuel said they used the money to purchase dry goods to set up a petite business.

“We also used some of the money to purchase building materials for the renovation of the house in which  my mother lives, bought food stuff and paid a herbalist to treat her broken leg” Forkpah said.

Emmanuel is jobless with a family size of nine (9) including six children. “This little business is what we are using to help feed the family,” he added.

50 year old Cephas Porte is a retired driver of the Firestone Company in Liberia and a father of seven. He has been battling paralysis since his retirement and is unable to afford proper treatment.

“When I received the money, I was able to go for my treatment and buy at least two bundles of zinc to fix my house because I am not working now,” Mr. Porte said.

At least 4,442 beneficiaries were enlisted for the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme out of which 2,981 were successfully selected following thorough vetting and verification processes by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Protection and other partners. 

                                                           

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