Williametta E. Saydee Tarr, Liberian Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare (MGCSP), said the Liberian government has extended the second phase of cash transfers to citizens.
Tarr said cash transfers are meant to empower citizens to reduce poverty. According to her, the second phase will target approximately 6,500 beneficiary households in Bomi and Maryland counties.
She made the revelation on September 8 at a resort in Monrovia during the National Social Welfare Steering Committee meeting with partners.
The purpose of the meeting was to highlight the progress made and to plan the next phase of the programme.
Tarr said more than 15,000 beneficiary households in communities in the city of Montserrado have benefited from the cash transfer initiative to alleviate the economic hardship of families working primarily in the informal sector during the COVID 19 lockdown.
Tarr said that while the government may still struggle to fund more programs across the country to benefit citizens, the government remains committed to its goal of reducing poverty and meeting the needs of the vulnerable population.
She said the plan to lift Liberians out of poverty is in line with her pro-poor agenda for prosperity and development, saying “that’s why this government clings to its mantra, power to the people. “.
“When we lift our people out of poverty, it means we empower them to live a dignified life,” Tarr said.
Tarr said the government, through the Ministry of Gender Equality as part of its social cash transfer programs, has completed construction of the National Social Household Register, a system that houses social data for promoting social programs through an effective means of delivery.
“The government remains hopeful that the building system will solve the long-standing data issues the government has been facing, particularly in the areas of social care,” she explained.
She noted that on many occasions, partners need to do research before embarking on an initiative.
“We assure the partners of the new system that will provide real-time data for social intervention in the areas of education, nutrition, health, among others,” she added.
She said the ministry’s unconditional cash transfer had successfully completed the first phase in Grand Kru and Maryland counties, serving over three thousand beneficiaries.
“Based on the voluntary testimonials of our beneficiaries, they were happy that the program ended successfully. Although the first phase was difficult for the ministry, the staff braved the storm and were able to reach all the beneficiaries and they were served,” she explained.
“This cash transfer has continued to empower more women, who are the recipients of the cash because women use their cash for the good of their families,” she said.