GoL, UNDP Complete Social Cash Payment in Bong County

Jan 19, 2016

Beneficiaries receiving cash payment under the Social Safety Net Cash Transfer Programme

Korpo Gayflor is an 86-year-old mother of three with fifteen grandchildren. Her three children are all jobless. Her story, however, is not much different from many aged Liberian mothers in post-war Liberia, who have no welfare benefits.

Welfare programmes are usually government programmes that provide benefit to low-income individuals and families, including the elderly.

Korpo lives in an unplaster mud hut, roofed with zinc in Handii, Fuamah District, Bong County. Even though her children are said to be jobless, she depends on them to provide for her needs.

“My three surviving children are the ones that I am depending on. My husband and the rest of my other children are dead. Only three (3) are alive now but, they are not working”, Korpo said in the Kpelle vernacular interpreted by one of her granddaughters.

The 86-year-old mother lost eight (8) of her eleven (11) children, including her husband during the country’s 14 years civil unrest. She has since been surviving at the mercy of her three children and other kindhearted individuals.

Korpo was vetted and selected as one of the initial three-thousand (3,000) targeted households of the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection- Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme in Bong County.

With funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ministry, completed payment to 2,701 beneficiaries out of the 2,981 targeted. These include people living in extreme poverty, as well as those whose sources of income have been hit by shock.

They each 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) as part of an effort to reduce poverty in the country and increase the standard of living.

The beneficiaries 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, among others.    

With her share of LD$17,600.00, Korpo hopes to build at least a hut in which she would dwell till ‘death’. “With this money, I want to build my own house (hut) where I will remain and die…The person (her husband) who should have built my house died and I could die anytime” she said.

According to the 2008 Census, Bong County has a population of 328,919, making it the third-most populous county in Liberia.  

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) - Social Cash Transfer Program Cluster-3 Coordinator, Sylvester Taylor said Bong County has approximately seventy-thousand (70,000), households.

“The Government of Liberia through UNDP was able to raise funding for at least 3,000 households or beneficiaries” he said.

Taylor said during the enlistment process by the Ministry, 4,442 beneficiaries were enlisted out of which 2,981 were successfully selected following thorough vetting and verification processes. 

Joseph Benson, 47, of the Cotton Tree Community had gone to the Gbarnga Administrative Building to collect, on behalf of his 89-year-old visually impaired mother.

Joseph, a father of nine (9) children, was layoff from Firestone Liberia near five (5) years ago. He now relies on gardening to feed a family of twelve (12) including his aged mother.

“My mother and family have been surviving through the grace of God. I have to make farm or garden before we can eat,” Joseph said.

However, Joseph is glad that his mother was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Programme.

With his mother’s share of LD$17,600, Joseph hopes to invest into petite trade business. “This little money that they gave me, I want to use it to sell goods to help the family…I’ve a lot of children in school.

The SCT payments were carried out across eighteen (18) clans in eight (8) of Bong County’s eleven (11) Administrative districts.

Contact

For further information, contact:  Dorsla Farcathy Team Leader (SET)/ E-mail- Dorsla.farcathy @undp.org

Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.org Tel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425

Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: zotasam@gmail.com Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162

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