Social Cash Beneficiaries Laud DonorsAug 11, 2016
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) have successfully completed the payment of over 2000 beneficiaries under the “National Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme.”
With support from UNDP, the SCT Programme targeted 2,981 in Bong County as part of an Ebola Emergency response which seeks to provide safety net for households which have lost members to the disease, extremely poor and labor-impaired households which have been most vulnerable to the shocks caused by EVD.
Following the signing in February 2015, of the National Social Safety Net Cash Transfer (SCT) programme by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Julia Duncan Cassell and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, the programme commenced in Bong County with monthly payments to qualifying households to be used to take care of their basic livelihoods.
Bong is one of the counties affected by the EVD with the largest number of population in absolute poverty.
Cash transfers were given to the enlisted 2,981 households in the amount of LD 4,500 (USD 50) each month for a period of 6 months. The cash transfer support is also aimed at strengthening the livelihoods of those beneficiary households and help build their resilience against future shocks.
The fund, according to Ciapha Kparwor, general town chief of Popo-ta, has greatly improved the living conditions of most of the beneficiaries in the town. He said as a result of the SCT programme, new structures are being constructed across the town and new businesses opened.
Popo-ta is in Fuamah District, Bong County. “The money they (UNDP/MoGCSP) have given is helping our people here in our town. People like Karkulah Kparwlor, Mulbah Gie, Kpenneh Dedee are building houses in Popo-ta and the other people were able to buy food, zinc and pay their children school fees” Town Chief Kparwor said.
Ma- Nyarma Swah is the mother of sixteen years old Martu Walker who turned blind due to illness at four (4). Martu had never been to school since birth. She said she feels embarrassed with her condition. Martu and her aging parents live in the home of one of their relatives in a village in Tamayta, Jorquelleh District, Bong County. She got enlisted as a beneficiary of the UNDP supported Social Cash Transfer programme and received the first payment of seventeen thousand four hundred Liberian dollars (17,600.00). Upon receipt of the money according to Martu’s mother, she immediately began the process of building a house for the family.
According Ma-Nyarma, it is a tradition in the village that the villagers jointly support anyone who has already purchased their materials, zinc, nails, and bricks/sticks for construction work. Martu’s parents got the full support of the villagers for the construction of a three-bed room house that is nearing completion, with doors, windows, floors still require.
Sixty-five year-old Karkular Sumo’s caretaker is Ma-Nyeapu Sumo, his sister. He had lived with painful deficiency in his eyes for several years. He was enlisted in the SCT programme and received the first payment of LD$17,600.00. Upon receipt of the fund, old man Karkular said he successfully underwent his eye surgery at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Nimba County.
Speaking at brief closing program of the Cash Transfer Project, UNDP Country Director, Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen, said the UNDP was glad to be supportive of a program that has helped Ebola affected families and underprivileged people in the Liberian society.
He said he was glad to see the success of a program that has immensely helped Liberians. “UNDP is glad to help Liberians stand on their own. We are helping those people because we want them to fit in the Liberian economy,” he noted.
He disclosed that it was President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who appealed to the UNDP through its Administrator Hellen Clark and submitted her government’s plan to help underprivileged people of Liberia.
For her part, Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) Minister, Julia Duncan Cassell, in remarks said the pilot phase of the project which initially focused on people living in extreme poverty was implemented in Bomi County with financial support from the European Union (EU) and technical support from the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF).
She noted that after a careful evaluation of the project in 2012, the Government of Liberia with funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) scaled up the program and included additional four counties; Maryland, Grand Kru, Grand Cape Mount and Bong Counties respectively.
The Gender Minister noted that building on the experience of the pilot, UNDP as part of an Ebola Emergency response supported the Ministry with a cash transfer livelihood project which seeks to provide a safety net for those households which have had a member succumbed to the disease and upon which quarantine was imposed.
She thanked the UNDP and other partners for supporting the program. “We want to thank the UNDP Team for their continued support to this initiative including the World Bank for all the technical support throughout the implementation stages of the program,” she noted.
The disbursement climaxed UNDP’s support for the SCT program in Bong. The government of Liberia will only continue the program based on the support of other donor partners that will start wherever UNDP has stopped. The duration of UNDP’s support was only for six months which has now expired.
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