The National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) has over the weekend concluded the quarterly Cash Transfers to extremely poor Ebola households in Bo, Kenema, Kailahun, Port Loko, Tonkolili districts and the Western Urban. Since January this year, beneficiary households in these areas have been receiving quarterly cash payments of Le 370,000 as part of coping mechanism measures following the outbreak of Ebola in the country.
NaCSA concludes nine months of Cash Delivery to thousands of poorer households
Supported by the World Bank, the Social Safety Net (SSN) Project falls within Pillar Six of the PRSP III in the Government’s Agenda for Prosperity. So as part of the broader National Social Protection Scheme, NaCSA and its development Partners implemented the nine months Rapid Ebola Social Safety Net (RE – SSN) unconditional Cash Transfers programme to support beneficiaries with basic household needs such as improved nutrition, basic healthcare and education for children.
To ensure transparency of the payment process, the cash delivery was administered by SPLASH, an independent mobile money transfer company. Effective monitoring of the process was jointly carried out by the related stakeholders including the local authorities, Civil Society, MDAs and Non State Actors with the ACC ensuring that issues of accountability and grievances were properly addressed.
During her routine monitoring visits at the various payment points, Deputy Commissioner of NaCSA, Mrs Haja Isatu Kamara informed the beneficiaries in the various districts that Government is keen on improving the welfare of the citizenry especially during this period of the Ebola outbreak in the country. She empathised with the people for coping the challenges brought about as a result of the Ebola scourge and encouraged them to be steadfast, noting that NaCSA will continue to solicit the necessary support from Government and its development partners to help the extremely poor move away from the poverty threshold. She told the cash recipients that the third quarter payment was the last of several payments already made under the RE – SSN Project while encouraging them to judiciously utilize the money for the best interest of the households.
Senior Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Susan Robert encouraged the ACC and other stakeholders to left no stone unturned in ensuring that the payment exercise was transparent and credible as well as providing provision for beneficiaries to come out openly and express their concerns about the nature of the services delivered to the people. She particularly appealed to the beneficiaries to be involved in petty trading and backyard gardening as a way of improving their income and ensuring sustainability of the money.
Other partners who took part in the monitoring exercise were encouraged about the level of impacts the SSN cash delivery created on the lives of the rural poor especially the elderly. Meanwhile, NaCSA will continue its regular SSN Cash Transfers project to poorer households even when the RE – SSN has temporarily ended. And as a prototype in cash transfers in the country, NaCSA is also playing a lead role in effecting a national Cash Transfer programme through the Government’s Ebola Recovery Initiatives.