Liberia: Gender Ministry Begins Disbursement of U.S.$300k to 'Extremely Poor' Citizens

... Beneficiaries are in Maryland, Grand Kru counties

Authorities at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social protection (MGCSP) said they have started the disbursement of "social cash to the extremely poor and food insecure citizens" in Maryland and Grand Kru counties.

Gender Minister Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr made the disclosure over the weekend at a news conference in Monrovia. She said that those that are registered in the category will benefit from US$300,000.

"Under this quarter payment, over 3,000 households will be given cash to help them secure the needed support for their families. This cash transfer is a major achievement under the Pro-poor Agenda, which says power to the people and sub-chapter investing in social protection," Minister Tarr said.

She said that the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) underscores the importance of "direct cash transfer" outside centralized national poverty reduction programs, noting: "This milestone also captured in the very essence of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under pillar one and two that says no poverty and zero hunger."

She said the Liberia Social Safety Nets Project is a government project, intended to establish key building blocks of basic national safety net delivery system, and provide income support to households that are both "extremely poor and food insecure."

Minister Tarr said the first component is to improve efficiency, enhance capacity and strengthen the national social safety net system.

She added that it will finance the development of a social registry to host information that includes household data as well as management information system (MIS), which is an information system used for decision-making, and for the coordination, control, analysis, and visualization of information in an organization functions to transform that data, according basic business processes for delivering social assistance.

"This very space is that data center and a part of the government's investment into development and social protection. We are commencing data collection in Bong, Nimba, Maryland and Bomi counties, with plans to continue to River Gee, Sinoe, Grand Gedeh, River Cess, and Grand Bassa early next year," the Minister said.

She said the second component will be the "cash transfers to the extremely poor and food insecure households, which we are achieving as we speak in Maryland and Grand Kru counties."

The objective is to provide income support to about 10,000 extremely poor and food insecure households in Liberia through regular cash transfer and accompanying measures.

"We are currently targeting 3,300 households, which is just under 15,000 people in Grand Kru and Maryland counties with the aim to reach 7,000 households, which estimates will target over 30,000 people by the middle of next year," Minister Tarr said.

She continued, "The third component is the project management and capacity building, which component is to finance project management and capacity-building for the implementation of the project by the MGCSP. This component will also strengthen coordination among safety programs at the national and sub-national levels."

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