Three thousand households in Bong are expected to benefit from the Social Cash Transfer program expected to shortly start in the county.
The Social Cash Transfer program is being implemented by the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and World Bank.
Under the program, people living in abject poverty, as well as those whose sources of income have been hit by shock, will be given a monthly stipend as part of an effort to reduce poverty in the country and increase the standard of living.
The three thousand beneficiaries will be identified in the various communities in consultation with citizens and community leaders to ensure it actually reaches those living in abject poverty and people whose incomes have been hit by shock, including Ebola survivors, as well as people with disabilities, among others.
At a county high level panel discussion in Gbarnga last weekend, Liberia’s National Social Protection Coordinator Gabriel Fernandez praised partners who were assisting the Government of Liberia in the fight against poverty.
Mr. Fernandez maintained that the government-crafted program was part of the National Agenda for Transformation, stressing that the government was very serious about its development programs, especially poverty reduction.
In his remarks, the UNDP Social Safety Net Cash Transfers Project Manager called on implementers of the project to be honest by ensuring that the money reaches those who are actually in need.
Dr. Augustine Lansana said the UNDP as a donor was interested in seeing the project succeed for the betterment of the ordinary poverty striking citizens.
Dr. Lansana expressed the need for them to be proactive by working through action.
“UNDP has a dream to complement the efforts of the government to improve the lives of the Liberian people, and I will be on the ground to see how the project will be implemented,” he stated.
The UNDP Social Safety Net Cash Transfers Project Manager indicated that besides the current Social Cash Transfer Program, his institution still has other initiatives to venture into for the improvement of community members.
Bong County Assistant Superintendent for Development Anthony Sheriff, in remarks, described the program as a big step towards the improvement of the lives of the suffering masses of Bong County and Liberia as a country.
Mr. Sheriff stated that the Cash Transfer Program will take away a huge burden from local leaders, extolling donors for their contributions to the development of the state.
The Social Cash Transfer Program Cluster Three Coordinator Sylvester William Taylor said every household will receive US$50.00 every month within the next one year, while the project is expected to last for three years with the same beneficiaries continuing to take home their packages.
The Social Cash Transfer high level panel discussion brought together stakeholders from various sectors, with commendation for the government and partners for fighting to reduce poverty. By Papa Morris from Gbarnga, Bong County -Edited by George Barpeen