This programme is part of the £5 million package provided by the UK - new money specifically for the humanitarian crisis in Freetown which includes support to:
· UNICEF to provide clean water, sanitation, nutritional support, child protection and psychosocial services;
· WHO to prevent and respond to any cholera outbreak;
· A group of NGOs, led by Oxfam, to provide clean water and sanitation facilities for about 4,000 people, vital to stopping the spread of deadly diseases such as cholera;
· UK charity Street Child to provide clothing and food for about 5,000 people;
· UNOPS, with the British firm Dawnus, to stabilise the landslide site and clear debris from the rivers to reduce the risk of further flooding; and
· Humanitarian cash transfers to 1,908 families and orphaned children to enable them to find accommodation, pay school fees, and re-establish their lives.
Cash transfers are increasingly playing a large role in humanitarian response and preparedness around the world, helping people to recover, rebuild and strengthening their resilience. Cash allows people to determine their own recovery, prioritising what they need based on their own circumstances, and to reduce their dependency on government.
The UK Government has worked closely with the Government of Sierra Leone and its partners to develop this initiative in response to the recent floods and landslide on 14 August. The cash transfers will instantly allow affected individuals to meet their urgent needs, such as purchasing household or livelihood goods, investing in their children’s education, and starting to rebuild their lives in a safer place. The transfers will be delivered over a three-month period through the government Social Safety Net (SSN) Programme, helping to strengthen its ability to respond to future disasters.
Between September and November 2017 unconditional Humanitarian Cash Transfers will be provided to all of the 1,908 households on the verified government list. These transfers will be disbursed in three installments. The September installment of US$120 per household is intended to cover non-food needs, including but not limited to payment of school fees and other immediate social needs. This transfer will be supplemented by provision of dry rations by the World Food Programme (WFP) so households do not need to spend this money on food items. The next two installments of US$30 per household, in October and November, will support the households to recover and stabilize.
Additionally, a one-off Early Recovery Cash Transfer of US$300 is offered to households who wish to voluntarily settle outside the temporary camps that have been set up by the Government and humanitarian actors. Those who choose to accept this UK Aid-funded transfer will also receive additional cash transfers of US$108 from the WFP to support their food needs in October and November. Those who would prefer to remain or move to the camps can do so.
The payment for the cash transfers will be made through mobile money, with close monitoring by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), UNICEF and other partners. A zero tolerance approach to corruption will be taken, with spot checks on all actors involved in delivery. A formal grievance mechanism is in place to deal with and respond to complaints, including a free phone number (161) direct to the ACC. Beneficiaries can withdraw their money at any time and in any quantities and will never be asked to pay a fee for this.
Speaking at the site Guy Warrington, British High Commissioner, said ‘The UK Government continues to stand with the people of Sierra Leone and support them during this crisis. I am pleased that as part of our £5 million commitment we are able to give money directly to those affected so they can decide what is best to meet their immediate needs and take steps to rebuild their lives’