The World Bank Country Director for Liberia, Africa Region Mr. Henry Kerali on Wednesday 20 September The World Bank declares the Liberia Social Safety Net Project ready for implementation with a $10 million loan, targeting 10,000 households in Bomi, Grand Kru, River Gee and Maryland Counties, dubbed the poorest counties in Liberia. The declaration follows the project ratification by both the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively.
The World Bank Country Director for Liberia and Africa Region, Mr. Henry Kerali made the formal declaration in Monrovia on Wednesday, September 20.
A press release from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Monrovia says under the project, an initial 10,000 households will be targeted in the four poorest counties in Liberia – Bomi, Grand Kru, River Gee and Maryland, as beneficiaries of cash transfers as an income supplement to lift them from extreme poverty and build their resilience against life cycle risks and future shocks.
Key lessons will be drawn from these transfers to develop a national programme to reduce poverty toward Liberia’s vision of becoming a middle income country by 2030.
It says the Liberia Social Safety Net (LSSN) will be implemented over a five year period (2017-2022), and aims to establish the key building blocks of a basic national safety net system and provide income support to extremely poor households in Liberia.
The project will support the establishment of an integrated social protection (SP) system by investing in common mechanisms for targeting, including the establishment of a Household Social Registry for the identification of extremely poor households for social transfer interventions, enhance more efficient and effective delivery of benefits, whilst allowing for tracking of the development outcomes of social protection programs run by other stakeholders.
On a co-financing agreement, SAID will provide $6.4 million grant to establish the Social Registry and build national capacity for its management.
Also, with the signing of a MOU between the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, beneficiary households will be supported to do home gardening and to improve household nutrition.
A MoU with the Liberian Anti-corruption Agency (LACC) has also been signed to provide anti-corruption oversight of the key project interventions and ensure transparency, including independent monitoring and social accountability.
Evidence from economic impact evaluation by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization or FAO in sub-Saharan Africa shows that “cash transfer programmes” have led to an increase in agricultural activities in beneficiary households, including greater use of agricultural inputs, more land area in crop production and higher crop output.
Additionally, beneficiary households have increased ownership of livestock and agricultural tools, as well as a greater tendency to participate in non-farm family enterprises In almost all countries, cash transfers have allowed beneficiary households to avoid negative risk coping strategies and to better manage risk, partly by allowing beneficiaries to ’re-enter’ existing social networks and thus strengthen their informal social protection systems.