Sixty-two women in four communities in Montserrado and Margibi Counties have received a zero percent interest loan of $ 75.00 USD each to restart or upgrade their small business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
PAYOWI records that many women and girls had expressed that during the peak of COVID-19 lock-down in Liberia, economically, the various public health measures enforced by the Liberian Government resulted in reduced incomes, amidst spike in prices of basic commodities as well as disruption of various means of livelihoods.
To help respond to the ongoing severe economic hardship at varying degrees across gender, especially for women and girls who are clustered in the least profitable formal and informal sectors, each woman in the pilot project has received the meager amount of $75.00 United States Dollars, the equivalent of closely $15,000 Liberian Dollars to start or upgrade their small business. Beneficiaries of the program include young and adult women, heads of households, single mothers and widows.
Beneficiaries, Mercy Tokpa and Margaret Freeman of the Mount Barclay community, said the loan will enable them restart their charcoal business that suffered massive decline as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The ladies explained that the increase in transportation and travel restrictions prevented them from purchasing the charcoal huge quantities for wholesale purpose. And eventual they started to reach into her business capital to help ensure her family was fed.
The loan is to be repaid within three months as of the disbursement date with no interest. The group of women will together decide the next activity to be supported with the For example, whether to establish a formal village saving loan in their communities or loan a new set of women in the community to follow the same payment arrangement.
Diana D, Jarka, women leader from Duahzon community thank PAYOWI for the hand extended them and see it as an opportunity for the women to "get back on their feet".
Margaret Freeman a group member of Mount Barclay community who o empowerment opportunity
According to PAYOWI, the funds do not come back to the organization but be use as an economic support empowerment funds for women in four communities.
The total of four thousand six hundred and fifty ($ 4,650.00) United States dollars was made possible by the Feminist Humanitarian Network through Actionaid International.
According to PAYOWI's Executive Coordinator, Facia Harris the project the Economic Empowerment activity is to help women care givers receive business start-up, stimulus, and expansion support to assist them mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus crisis.