With funding from World Bank,the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), yesterday began the Social Cash Program (SCTP) in Bomi and Maryland Counties respectively.
The resumption of the SCTP which is backed by relevant United Nations agencies, NGOs and the GoL is intended tomitigate the impact of the EVD on loss of household incomes and decline of livelihoods in the country.
Previously, the program was funded by the European Union (EU), with technical support from UNICEF and implemented by the Ministry of Gender, but with its resumption, the program will now be funded by the World Bank and implemented by the MoGCSP.
The program seeks to impact a total of3,800 existing beneficiaries in Maryland and Bomi, as well as additionally providing support to some 6,700 other individuals, who are labor constrained, ultra-poor and from EVD affected households, in six other counties.
Under the new arrangement of the SCTP, Foster Grants will also be made available to children rendered orphans as a result of the Ebola scourge on the country.
Unlike in time past, when payments were made through mobile money transaction,all beneficiaries, in line with the new structure of the SCTP,will now be paid throughEcobank.
Meanwhile, the SCTP among other things seeks to address issues relating to but not limited toextremely Poor and Labor constrained Households – This includes households with no able bodied household member in the age group 19 to 64, who is not fit for work, or when one household member in the age group 19 to 64 years, who is not fit for work, has to care for more than three dependents.
The program, as part of a social protection system, also seeks to address issues regarding the most vulnerable households incounties affected by Ebola in Liberia, and will as well cater for children, particularly those rendered orphans that have been directly affected by the Ebola epidemic.
The payment exercise, which kicks off today and is expected to run through Friday, July 24, will simultaneously take place in several clans and districts in both Maryland and Bomi Counties.
In Bomi, beneficiaries residing inGborjay, Gbor, Lower and Upper Mecca Clans, Suehn Mecca District, will today begin receiving an average of US$35 per family. The amount which covers payments for the months of January to June 2015, is meant to bridge the poverty gap in Liberia.
Similarly, beneficiaries in Maryland County’s Harper District, residing in Cavalla, Half Graway and Whole Graway Clans, will today, also begin benefitting from the program. The payment mode of the SCTP will vary according to family size, with those falling within the single individual household category receiving US$20; those within the two-person-family household being paid US$30; and those falling in the category of the three-person-family household will receive US$40.
Beneficiaries within the category of four-person-family household and above will benefit US$50,while children in foster care will receive a monthly assistance package of per capital foster grant of US$10.