The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has announced a planned disbursement of US$3.4 Million US Dollars to 15,000 households who are considered the poorest in urban places.
Gender Minister Williametta E. Saydee Tarr told a joint press conference Wednesday, 27 January at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town that her ministry has concluded all necessary requirements to begin cash transfer to 15,000 households in Montserrado County.
“This intervention is a part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to assist extremely poor and food-insecure families affected by the pandemic”, she says.
According to her, the initiative is led by the Ministry’s Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Program, under the Liberia Social Safety Nets Project sponsored by Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the World Bank.
She says a total cost of US$3.4 million United dollars is being provided by the FCDO / UKaid, which has also committed US$5 million dollars to the regular cash transfer in Maryland, Bomi, River Gee and Grand Kru Counties.
“All households within the selected communities like Saye-Town, Blamo-Town, Slipway, etc., are eligible to receive support from the Social Cash Transfer to meet immediate household needs and prevent the use of negative coping strategies caused by the pandemic,” she explains.
According to Minister Tarr, the cash will be received by a female in every household, except where no female is in that household.
She notes that a house with a single person will get US$15 per transfer, while a house of six persons or more gets US$90 per transfer.
The Gender Minister says the government under President George Manneh Weah remains committed to responding to the needs of all citizens and residents.
“The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection under our leadership will continue to seek means through which it can respond to the vulnerable population, as government’s foremost social protection institution,” she says.
She states that the Ministry of Gender is currently transferring cash to nearly four thousand beneficiary households in Maryland and Grand Kru Counties.
In December 2020, the project transitioned from physical cash transfers to mobile money.
She pleads with beneficiaries to accept whatever they receive, and not to see it as a mere handout.
Minister Tarr extends thanks to Liberia’s partners, the FCDO (formerly DFID), USAID, and the World Bank for their support.
For her part, Madam Esther Roberts says the FCDO over the past time has also committed US$5 million dollars to the regular cash transfers in Maryland, Bomi, River Gee and Grand Kru Counties.
According to her, the FCDO will continue to buttress national efforts in providing the Ministry with the necessary support that is needed to lift the citizens out of poverty.
Meanwhile Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee says it is an interesting situation for the government under President Weah to think about the wellbeing of its citizens, saying these are things that the people need to get from their government.
On behalf of the city government, Koijee thanks the government through the Ministry of Gender for its continued support to the people of Liberia.
By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley