The Project Officer, IEC, NaCSA, Sentho Kargbo, has announced during a sensitization campaign in beneficiary communities that NaCSA with support from the World Bank has increased the benefit level of unconditional cash transfers from Le. 195, 000 to Le 250, 00 per household per quarter.
Beneficiary households she said are expected to use the monies to meet the programs objectives including; vaccinating their children below 5yrs, education for their children, pregnant and lactating mothers to attend clinic, provision of basic nutrition to the family or to start or increase a small business venture.
She further explained that the reason for the increase is due to the inflation and depreciation of the Leone and that the old value will no longer provide the expected income support given the situation of the economy. This new amount will be delivered effective from the current payment period –March to April, 2017.
Beneficiaries in the nine districts including Kono, Western Rural, Moyamba, Bombali, Tonkolili, Portloko, BO, Kenema, and Kailahun were selected through a light proxy means test by statistics Sierra Leone for females who are household heads.
The beneficiaries were also sensitized on the use of help lines to report corrupt practices regarding cash transfer payments within their localities on 161 (Airtel) and 077985985 (Africel) which are toll free.
Community Stakeholders, Council, CSO, have expressed delight over this venture by the government and the World Bank noting that it would go a long way in assisting the people especially in the rural areas.
A community beneficiary Amie Samuka in Gbeworbu Gao Village, Luawa Chiefdom, Kailahun District explained how much she has derived from this money within a short period. She and other beneficiaries have been able to take care of their basic needs. ‘We are happy because we are not requested to pay any form of interest, rather it’s for us to improve our lives and families'; we are indeed grateful to the government, she added.
Isatu Tholley an 18 years old girl in Magbass, Tonkolili District lamented her mother died during the Ebola scourge and her father is blind. She has been out of school for some time now because of lack of money and assistance. As a beneficiary of the cash transfer programme she used the first quarter payment to enroll to further her education. ‘The increase in the benefit level has helped me to further my education and also take care of my blind father’ she added. Isatu is very happy and grateful to government and its partner the World Bank.
Stakeholder, Deputy Chairman, BO District Council, Martin Goba, noted that the SSN Program is a laudable venture in his District.
He expressed great delight in the selection process of the beneficiaries and hoped more people will be added. The increase in the benefit level will go a long way in helping women and poverty alleviation, he added.
The cash transfer programme which is dubbed in krio Ep Fet Po is designed for women who have the most input in the running of the household.
Monday April 03, 2017