As part of efforts to complement Government’s Ebola Recovery Plan, Oxfam Liberia has launched a 1.7 Million United States dollars Livelihood Program.
The Program which was launched Monday in Mehnpa, Saclepea-Mah District, Nimba County targets 11,317 beneficiaries from Nimba, River Gee and Grand Gedeh Counties.
The Cash for work focuses on providing incentives to local farmers in the three counties, including farming implements.
It also targets vulnerable persons in the three counties with Livelihood Sustainable Grant of 150 United States dollars to each beneficiary. Most of the beneficiaries include the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Oxfam Liberia Country Director, Mamudu Salifu said the grant is aimed at strengthening the capacity of local farmers, Women Groups and the vulnerable.
According to Mr. Salifu, the provision of the grant was also based on an investigation conducted to determine the financial position of Liberians after the Ebola crisis.
Mr. Salifu revealed the investigation shows that about 70 percent of Liberians could not afford for themselves and families due to the pandemic.
He said the money would assist the beneficiaries pay children school fees, medical bills and the establishment of businesses.
The Program launched by Oxfam is in two categories, Conditional and Unconditional Cash.
The conditional involves farmers growing their own crops and financially assisted and provided tools, while the unconditional stresses financial assistance for the vulnerable with no labor.
Providing an update of the Project, the Program Manager for Oxfam with oversight in Nimba, Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties, Dze Ryumukama said nine thousand one hundred fifty seven persons will receive cash for work.
He further disclosed that two thousand one hundred fifty vulnerable persons will receive unconditional cash.
Mr. Ryumukama also explained that fifty three Women Saving Groups in the three counties will receive one thousand five hundred United States dollars each.
Appearing on Radio Saclepea before the official launch of the Program, Mr. Ryumukama assured beneficiaries that all will be done by Oxfam to continue to provide the much needed assistance to them.
Speaking at the official launch of the Program, the Assistant City Mayor of Saclepea City, A. Wallace Zigbuo Jr. commended Oxfam for the Initiative in Nimba County.
Mr. Zigbuo noted the Project shows that Oxfam is committed to improve the living standards of beneficiaries of the three counties.
He called on the beneficiaries to ensure that funds provided them are used wisely to bring about positive changes.
The Assistant Saclepea City Mayor said the city government will collaborate with beneficiaries to ensure that such Initiative is sustained through local efforts.
One of the beneficiaries of Oxfam’s Cash Empowerment Scheme, Prince Dangan expressed gratitude to Oxfam for the Initiative.
Prince said the cash will help him greatly in buttressing his bid to obtain college education.
Another beneficiary, Linda Davis praised Oxfam as the first Organization to bring such Cash for Work Program, which she said has greatly motivated the farmers to grow their own food.
Linda said the Initiative will go a long way in empowering farmers and their respective families.
The launch of the Program witnessed the jubilation of the locals, including women, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Some were seen sharing tears of joy, as they commanded Oxfam for the Initiative and urged other organizations, including the Liberian government to do likewise across the country.
The program was attended by hundreds of the residents, including the county administration, amidst cultural performances.
Report By Augustine N. Myers
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reporters & Editors
Network of Liberia (WASH R&E)